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Mission Parivar Vikas launched in Hailakandi

By Correspondent

HAILAKANDI, July 13 - South Assam�s Hailakandi and Karimganj of Barak Valley have been identified as high population growth districts and Hailakandi topped the State with a rising population rate of 3.7 compared to the national rate of 2.3. Karimganj�s rising population rate is 3.3.

Keeping in mind the high fertility rate of Hailakandi and Karimganj, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the �Mission Parivar Vikas� in 145 �high focus� districts having the highest fertility rates in the nation.

These 145 districts are in the seven high total fertility rate (TFR) States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam that constitute 44 per cent of the nation�s population.

The main objective of Mission Parivas Vikas is to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework.

These 145 districts have been identified based on total fertility rate and service delivery for immediate, special and accelerated efforts to reach the replacement level fertility goals of 2.1 by 2025.

Recent data suggests that these 145 districts have TFR of more than or equal to 3 (56 per cent of the 261 districts in the seven States) and are home to 28 per cent of India�s population (about 33 crores).

However, only 22 per cent of India�s protected couples and 40 per cent of India�s couples, with unmet needs, reside in these districts. These districts also have a substantial impact on maternal and child health indicators as about 25-30 per cent of maternal deaths and 50 per cent of infant deaths occur in these districts. Moreover, 115 of these districts (79 per cent) have high percentage of adolescent mothers.

The key strategic focus of this initiative will be on improving access to contraceptives through delivering assured services, dovetailing with new promotional schemes, ensuring commodity security, building capacity (service providers), creating an enabling environment along with close monitoring and implementation.

On the occasion of the Population Day, the Behavioural Change Communication expert of National Health Mission (NHM), Sikha Barthakur, launched the Mission Parivar Vikas in Hailakandi on Tuesday.

Later, addressing the media, the joint director of Health Services in Hailakandi, Dr Abhijit Bose expressed serious concern over the highest fertility rate in Hailakandi and said that they have launched awareness programmes throughout the district and a van titled Sarathi has been designed to go to villages to spread awareness among the villagers.

He said that the members of NGOs, ASHA workers, nurses in the villages and peripheral workers have been entrusted to implement the programme. Illiteracy and lack of proper knowledge are major reasons of increase of growth rate, he added.

The State Behavioural Change Communication expert, Sikha Barthakur, who is supervising the population campaign in Hailakandi, said that the Central government has targeted 2025 as the year to control the fertility rate in both Karimganj and Hailakandi districts and is expected to bring down the rate to 2.1.

She informed that they have decided to organise functions, specifically for brides and mothers-in-law of the targeted areas. This will be an easy way to discuss family planning related issues with them, she added. Free contraceptives will also be distributed among the couples. The people will also be imparted sex education in the rural areas of the district, Barthakur added.

During the last 10 years, the national rate has been decreased from 2.6 to 2.3. But in Hailakandi and Karimganj, the rate has increased drastically. In both the districts, the population of minority people is more than 70 per cent.

Mission Parivar Vikas campaign has also been launched in all the blocks of the district, including Algapur, Katlicherra, Kalinagar hospitals, informed district programme manager of the NHM in Hailakandi, Maruf Alam Barbhuiya.

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