With over 20% growth in population over the last 10 years, family planning campaigns of the government seem to have failed to click in Madhya Pradesh.
The National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 reveals that fewer people in the state have opted for sterilisation operations, intra-uterine devices (IUD) and contraceptive pills in the last 10 years. Condom usage, during the period, witnessed just a marginal increase.
“MP has been focusing on reducing maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate under national health mission. While doing so, it didn’t focus on family planning part or awareness related to it,” said Jan Swasthya Adhikar Manch (JAS) national working group member Amulya Nidhi said.
“The decline has raised lot of questions on functioning of the health department. Despite spending so much, at the end of the day the data is showing a decline. This should be investigated,” he said.
According to the survey, only 42.2% women (between 15 and 49 years) and 0.5% men opted for sterilisation operation in the last 10 years. A similar survey conducted in 2005-06 showed 44.3% women and 1.3% men opted for the procedure.
The percentage of women using IUD has decreased from 0.7% to 0.5% and those using contraceptive pills have come down from 1.7% to 1.3 % during the same period. Only the condom usage has recorded a marginal increase from 4.8% to 4.9%.
The decline in percentage of people opting for family planning methods has come as a matter of concern for health experts, as the Madhya Pradesh government has set a target to achieve total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 by 2020 from its current 2.9. TFR means average number of children born to a woman over her reproductive span. Surge in percentage of people using various family planning methods is inversely proportional to TFR.
The health officials have also expressed concern over very few men opting for sterilisation. The state MPhealth department has now set a target to increase male sterilisation up to 10% of the total sterilisation operations, besides observing October 29 to November 29 as the male sterilisation month. Last year, of over 4 lakh sterilisations, the number of male sterilisations was around 9,500.