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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

‘Awareness is the key to reduce fertility rate’: UP health minister

UP medical and health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said the fertility rate in the 11 districts of UP including Barabanki and Baharaich was 2.1%.

lucknow Updated: Jun 26, 2019 12:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Indian commuters make their way through a central railway station at rush hour on World Population Day in Chennai on July 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR
Indian commuters make their way through a central railway station at rush hour on World Population Day in Chennai on July 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR(AFP/Representative Image )
         

UP medical and health minister Siddharth Nath Singh on Tuesday expressed concern over high fertility rate in UP vis-à-vis the national average. He said the fertility rate in the 11 districts of UP including Barabanki and Baharaich was 2.1%.

The minister said this at the launch of “Aakar” Phase 2, a project of Mobius foundation that aims to promote population stabilisation in the state. Sharing views on this special project the minister said, “I have lent my support to this initiative because the fertility rate in UP is quite high.”

He said community awareness programme was key to reduce fertility rate. “More foundations should come forward and join this initiative. When a reputed NGO collaborates with government’s initiatives, I firmly believe that the targets and goals are achieved easily,” Singh said.

The minister also said Uttar Pradesh was better prepared to fight back Japanese encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) that claims several lives. He expressed concern over deaths of several children in Muzaffarpur that currently is at the epicentre of Japanese encephalitis.

To mention, Phase 1 of project Aakar was completed in December 2018, covering 200 villages of the two highly populated districts of Uttar Pradesh, Baharaich and Barabanki. Taking it forward, Phase-II of the project will focus on the health counselling of married couples and school students falling in the marriageable group of 17 – 20 years, said Pradip Burman, founder of Mobius Foundation.

In addition, this project intends to spread awareness about the health impact of early marriage and early child with the help of Community Health Centre (CHC) and Primary Health Centre (PHC), he said.

Research statistics reveal that only 31.7% couples in UP use modern contraceptive methods indicating the current perception and behaviour of the public towards family planning. According to the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 (NFHS-4), Uttar Pradesh has India’s second highest maternal mortality rate (258 deaths per 100,000 live births) and highest infant mortality rate (64 deaths per 1,000 live births).