PATNA: State health minister Mangal Pandey on Tuesday said the government has made ‘Antra’, a free of cost injectable contraceptive, available at all the healthcare centres in 36 districts to curb alarming growth of population in the state.
Addressing a function organized by Centre for Catalyzing Change (formerly known as CEDPA) on the eve of World Population Day here, the minister said a 13-day-long ‘Swasthya Mela’ would be organised at all the primary health centres across the state from Wednesday to inform people about family planning.
“Alarming population growth in Bihar is a matter of great concern. At the Swasthya Mela, the professionals will inform people about various approaches to implement a comprehensive family planning strategy. The doctors will encourage people for tubectomy and vasectomy to control population,” Pandey said.
He added, “Several choices are available for people who are not hesitant to approach holistic family planning strategies. The state health department has also launched injectable contraceptive Antra through which women can avoid pregnancy for three months. The contraceptive is currently available in 36 districts of the state and will soon be supplied to the rest of the two districts.”
Underlining the need for spreading awareness among people about use of contraceptives, the minister said under Mission Parivar Vikas (MPV) of Union ministry for health and family welfare, the state health department has focused on promoting male engagement and spousal communication. “Improving men’s understanding of family planning creates an environment in which both sexes can seek services and men are encouraged to discuss family planning with their partners. This will also develop equitable gender attitudes and increase the usage of contraceptives,” he said.
As per the statistical report of Sample Registration System (SRS) 2016, Bihar has witnessed a decline in total fertility rate (TFR) from 4.3 children born per woman (previously) to 3.3 (this year). However, the minister said the state still has highest fertility rate in India. The national ratio for TFR is 2.3.