Injectable contraceptives likely in high fertility districts

New Delhi: If everything goes according to plan, injectable contraceptives may soon be introduced in high fertility districts of the country to check population growth.

"Lot of work has been done on injectable contraceptives and we have come to the final stage where the joint technical advisory group will meet shortly and hopefully clear it," Health Secretary Sujatha Rao told the first Asian Population Association conference here.

Expressing confidence about the introduction of injectable contraceptives, she said, "Most of the members (of joint technical advisory group) have informally said that they
are satisfied that we can probably introduce the injectables."

The government made available several population stabilisation interventions including the "most preferred" sterilisation but "one of the most critical options which we had and which we were not able to introduce were injectable", she said.

"Injectable contraceptives will be of great help in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh with population of 170 million is expected to be contributing 22
per cent of the future growth of population," Rao underlined.

"The Health Ministry is also working for identifying high-fertility districts in the country. These are the districts where maternal-infant mortality is very high, status
of women is quite low apart from presence of other determinants that influence population stabilization policies," she said.

"It is here we hope to align. We are working on frameworks to align cash incentives along with infrastructure improvement and human resources that have to be deployed," she said.

Addressing the programme, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said many states in the northern and central parts of the country have very high total fertility rates where there
is a need to focus.

He underlined that the "Indian growth story" cannot be sustained without population stabilisation.

India`s population was 1.02 billion in 2001 and is expected to be nearly 1.19 billion in 2011. It is estimated that in another 20 years it will exceed that of China, which
is a matter of concern, Azad said.

"With just two per cent of the land and supporting 17 per cent of the world`s population, India`s development cannot be sustained without population stabilisation," he said.

He, however, added that there is a declining trend in the total fertility rate in the country and 14 states have already achieved the replacement level of 2.1.


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