Given the magnitude of the family planning programme in India, there is a need to strengthen the coordination of all its aspects, focusing on planning, programmes, monitoring, training and procurement.
The Fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) states that almost 9 per cent of women have an unmet need for family planning including a 4 per cent unmet need for spacing methods
The government had taken several measures to encourage the increase in awareness, availability and usage of modern contraceptives. This included the Mission Parivar Vikas initiative, which focused on family planning in 146 high fertility districts across seven states in the country.
A five-pronged strategy has been developed under the mission Parivar Vikas, which comprises of:
- Delivering assured services
- Building additional capacity/human resources development for enhanced service delivery
- Ensuring commodity security
- Implementing new promotional schemes
- Creating an enabling environment.
All the activities and decisions, associated with the Mission Parivar Vikas scheme will be looked after by the Health & Family Welfare Ministry.
Family Planning In India-WAY FORWARD
1. Favourable policy environment to meet the high unmet need for contraception
2. Empowering community health workers to ensure a better quality of care
Quality of care (QoC), consisting of its crucial components such as access to contraceptive choices, quality counselling services, information and follow-ups, can ensure that the unmet need of millions of women across the country is met, and there is an accelerated reduction in fertility.
3. Recognizing family planning as a human rights issue
4. Enhanced male engagement in family planning
5. Addressing the sexual and reproductive needs of the youth
6. Increased investment in family planning
The time to act is now. And this should begin with a concerted effort from everyone to empower women, expand family planning choices and strive for greater gender equality so that every individual can lead a dignified life.