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Minal Khatri

IWB Blogger

This Report Reveals That More Than 50% Of Indian Couples Don’t Use Contraception

  • IWB Post
  •  July 12, 2017

 

If we view the reports, India is home to 17% of the total population on the earth. This means we make up to 1.311 billion people. Yeah! We are a big force, but an unhealthy and unaware force.

According to a new report, more than half of Indian couples, who are in their reproductive age (15-49 age bracket) don’t use modern methods of contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies or spaced births.

When we count on numbers, around 45 million Indian women have shunned the use of modern contraception methods. Amongst these, 31 million don’t use any sort of contraceptives, while 14 million of them hinge on unreliable traditional methods that carry three times the risk of modern contraceptives.

According to the data revealed by National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), India’s total fertility rate (TFR) has fallen down from 2.7 children per women in 2005-06 to 2.2 in 2015-16. However, this has not been achieved due to the use of contraceptive methods. NFHS has further mentioned that India is one of the few nations that have seen a drop in use of contraceptive methods from 56.3% in 2005-06 to 53.5% in 20015-16.

Over time, more types of contraception methods have been introduced under India’s family planning program. These methods include Injectable contraceptive DMPA (Antara) – a 3-monthly injection, Centchroman pill (Chhaya) – a non-hormonal weekly pill, Progesterone-only pills (POP) – for lactating mothers, etc. However, a downfall in their usage has been noticed- 47.8% in 2015-16 compared to 48.5% in 2005-06.

Poonam Muttreja, executive director, Population Foundation of India adds on the alarming call, “Data shows that adding one contraceptive method in an existing basket of choice results in an 8-12% increase in the use of modern contraceptives. India’s population momentum is from its large cohort of young people who need access to contraception and the government needs to make more temporary methods available.”

While these saddening data has revealed the reason behind the poor health of Indian women, the government of India is consistently taking actions to put bars over the issue. JP Nadda, Union minister for health and family welfare says, “Twenty-four states in India have already attained replacement-level TFR of 2.1 and below and with the launch of Mission Parivar Vikas in 146 high-focus districts with a TFR of 3 or more, we will accelerate services in the high-fertility states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam that are home to 44% of the population.”

The 146 focused districts of Mission Parivar Vikas, today counts to nearly 28% of the country’s population or 33 crore people. There are only 22% couples who use protection while the unmet need (women who want to stop or delay childbearing but are not using any method of contraception) is 40%. In 115 districts of India, adolescent pregnancy is high with more of infant and maternal deaths.

Experts say that we will require about five decades to control the situation and drop population growth rate to zero percent. “Access to quality family planning information and services, particularly oriented to young people, those who are yet to enter their childbearing years, and those who are in their early childbearing years will ensure that population stabilization continues its normal trend,” said Diego Palacios, country representative for India, UNFPA.

The present challenge before us is to ensure that couples make an informed choice. We need to open ourselves and plan ahead before bearing a child, and perhaps help others do the same.

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