Men stay off contraceptives, force women

India has been attracting severe criticism from the international community for its poor mix of contraceptive methods. This despite India registering the highest contraceptive prevalence rate for sterilisation at 36.9% as compared to other countries with similar demographics. The US trails India recording a 36.3% rate, China follows at 33.2% and Brazil at 34.2%.

The huge share of female sterilisation coupled with slow pace in adoption of other modern contraceptive methods have raised concerns internationally about women’s rights as well as health risks.

Latest data presented by a global partnership ­ Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) ­ showed female sterilisation accounts for 74.4% of the modern contraceptive methods used in India. An additional 3.7% of the same is IUD. As against this, male sterilisation is merely 2.3%, while use of condoms account for 11.4%.Use of pills make just 7.5% of modern methods, whereas injectables and implants are almost absent.

India’s Mix Of Birth-Control Methods Poor

Compare this with 32.1% of female sterilisation, 28.5% injectables, 15% of pills and 10.4% of condoms used as a share of modern contraceptive mix in Sri Lanka. The country has 52.5% modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR).Bhutan, which has 50% mCPR, also accounts for 44.2% of injectables, 10.9% of female sterilisation and 19.3% of male sterilisation as part of the modern method mix.

This also assumes significance in the wake of concerns related to India’s rising population and the government’s continuous efforts to contain the decadal growth rate Various international agencies including the United Nations, have projected that India will be the most populous nation by 2022.

The government has recently taken steps to improve the cover age and create more awareness about family planning, mainly in rural areas. To ensure a greater thrust on spacing methods, the health ministry has also created specific schemes for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) to ensure spacing in births.contraceptive

Besides sterilisation, the Centre is trying to increase the basket of contraceptives and making them available under the national family planning programme. India has introduced injectable contraceptive as part of the scheme. “India must increase the number of users of modern contraceptives so that a greater proportion of all women and girls of reproductive age are served. Offering more types of modern methods in family planning programs will result in higher use,“ says Poonam Muttreja, executive director, Population Foundation of India.

India’s population growth rate has declined significantly from 21.54% in 1991-2000 to 17.64% in 2001-11. Government data says, India’s total fertility rate has declined from 2.6 in 2008 to 2.3 in 2013 and India is now just 0.2 points away from reaching the replacement level.

So far, 24 states have already achieved replacement level fertility. Nearly 60% of the population resides in states where either replacement fertility is already reached or will soon do. These include West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab.

However, 11% more male children are born every year as compared to females, as against a benchmark of 5%, shows UN data.

Source: Times of India 02 Jan’2016