In a bid to stabilise the population and curb the spread of HIV, minister of health and family welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has launched a campaign for door-to-door disbursal of contraceptives.
“After paying visit to various states in the country, we discovered that the contraceptives send by the Centre to state governments are not reaching the citizens. So, we decided to distribute the contraceptives directly to people through health activists,” said Azad, while addressing the 53rd convocation of the International Institute for Population Science (IIPS), Deonar, on Friday.
The 2011 census revealed that the fertility rate has reduced to 2.5 births per woman. However, in certain states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, the fertility rate is still 3 to 4 births per woman. The door-to-door service has been started mainly in districts with high fertility rate.
The ministry has identified 265 districts in central, north and east India for the distribution of contraceptives through the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), appointed by the government for birth control and health awareness.
Azad also gave information on the various national projects to prevent population growth, cancer and diabetes. He said that the pilot project for early detection and treatment of cancer has been launched in 100 districts identified by the ministry. They also plan to launch a project to detect diabetes in early stages soon.
“We have purchased glucometers in bulk to assist in detection of diabetes. Normally, the test costs Rs35 but since we have purchased it in bulk it is costing us only Rs5. By next year, we aim to test 15-20 crore people using the glucometer, which will again be a door-to-door service,” he said.