Centre okays measures to curb population boom

Centre okays measures to curb population boom

Centre okays measures to curb population boom

As many as 146 districts in seven states with a high population growth rate are holding back India’s efforts to stabilise its expanding population.

The Union Ministry of Health has now readied a plan to specifically target these districts, where the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is more than three. TFR is defined as the number of children born per woman.

The current national TFR is 2.3 and the government’s target is to achieve a TFR of 2.1 by 2025. “We will launch the National Parivar Vikas Mission to widen contraception choices in those districts,” Health Minister J P Nadda said at a press conference here on Thursday, marking the completion of the NDA government’s three years in office.

The 146 districts are located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Assam. They also account for 50% infant mortality and 25-30% maternal mortality. As many as 115 of these districts have a high percentage of adolescent mothers.

TFR is highest — beyond 4% — in 23 districts, of which 11 are from Uttar Pradesh, eight from Bihar and two each from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In the remaining 123 districts, TFR is marked between 3% and 3.9%.

The ministry has decided to make injectable contraceptives available at sub-centres in these districts, unlike the rest of India where such a facility is available up to the district level.

The ministry had last year decided to introduce injectable contraceptives — DMPA (Depot-Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) — in the family planning programme.

There will also be mobile vans selling contraceptives. In addition, health workers will reach out to newly-wed couples and mothers-in-law in villages to educate them on the importance of maintaining hygiene and delaying the first pregnancy.