Four states get injectable contraceptives under family planning programme

When injected in the muscle, the single-shot injectable contraceptive, called Antara, provide protection against conception for three months. It’s being promoted as an alternative to contraception methods that offer protection over a long period, such as intra-uterine contraceptive devices.

health Updated: Jul 11, 2017 16:15 IST
JP NAdda,world population day,injectable contraceptive
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda and MoS for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel visit to a students’ painting exhibition on World Population Day(Sushil Kumar)

Thirty-three government hospitals in Delhi have started offering an injectable contraceptive under the Union government’s family planning programme.

The single-shot injectable contraceptive, called Antara, is injected to the muscle to provide protection against conception for three months.

The contraceptive was launched in four states – Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi – on the occasion of World Population Day.

“Even after three months, protective effort lasts for two more weeks to give women the opportunity to reach a health centre before the protection wanes,” said Dr JP Kapoor, director of Delhi’s Family Welfare department, which is overseeing the Antara roll-out.

“This is an alternative to long-term contraception methods, such as intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCDs), sometimes cause excessive menstrual bleeding or cramps. Using Antara reduces or stops menstruation, which protects against anaemia caused by blood loss and saves on the cost of sanitary napkins ,” Dr Kapoor said.

Of the four states where the contraceptive is being launched, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have among India’s highest total fertility rates (TFR), which is average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime.

“We have achieved replacement total fertility rate of 2.1 in 24 of the 36 states and union territories and have rolled out Mission Parivar Vikas to focus on delivering services to 146 districts with TFR higher than 3 in seven populous states,” said Anupriya Patel, minister of state for health and family welfare.

Of the 146 districts, 38 are in Bihar and 57 in Uttar Pradesh.

Under Mission Parivar Vikas, the newly introduced contraceptive Antara will be available at sub-centre level. The Union government has also launched a Logistics Management Information System, which will strengthen the supply chain of commodities needed for family planning initiatives and send real time data of stock-outs or stockpiling.

“This will help us monitor the supply of commodities and reach the last mile, which is what our aim should be,” said Union health minister JP Nadda.

On the occasion of World Population Day, a “360 degree” awareness campaign on television, newspapers, radio, website and helpline number was also launched to educate people about family planning and promote spousal communication.

First Published: Jul 11, 2017 16:11 IST