In a bid to promote family planning, the Union Health Ministry plans to organise Saas-Bahu Sammelans in 146 districts where the fertility rate is 3 or more. The national average is 2.1. The meetings, the ministry hopes, will “bridge the gap” in mindset between the two generations and help in population stabilisation.
The Sammelans will be part of a new family planning initiative called Mission Parivar Vikas. The initiative will be rolled out in 146 districts across seven high-focus states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Assam. These states account for 28 per cent of India’s population, 25-30 per cent of maternal deaths and 50 per cent of infant deaths.
During a press conference to mark three years of the NDA government, Health Minister J P Nadda said on Thursday, “Mission Parivar Vikas launched in mission mode is aimed at strengthening services in 146 high-focus high-fertility districts in seven most populous states of our country. It will adopt a multipronged approach for intensified family planning services and initiatives by delivering assured services, building additional capacity for enhanced service delivery, ensuring commodity security and through new promotional schemes specifically designed for these districts.”
Injectable contraceptives will be rolled out in these districts at the sub-centre level along with augmentation of long-term contraceptive methods like sterilisation services and implanting of intra-uterine contraceptive devices. Boxes of condoms will be placed at health facilities and gram panchayat bhawans.