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In India, over 139 million women and girls now use modern methods of contraception: Report

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NEW DELHI: Over 139 million women and girls in India now use modern methods of contraception, according to a new report released on Tuesday. The report published by FP2020, a global partnership that supports the reproductive rights of women and girls, details the progress achieved in family planning over the past eight years.

In 13 low-income countries, the number of modern contraceptive users has doubled since 2012 and more than 121 million unintended pregnancies, 21 million unsafe abortions, and 1,25,000 maternal deaths were prevented in the last year alone, the report said.

As a result of contraceptive use in India, more than 54.5 million unintended pregnancies were prevented, and 1.8 million unsafe abortions and 23,000 maternal deaths averted in the last year alone.

In 2017, India updated its FP2020 commitment with two very specific, data-driven pledges: to invest $3 billion of domestic resources in family planning by 2020, and to increase the country’s modern contraceptive prevalence for married women from 53.1 per cent to 54.3 per cent by 2020, with 74 per cent of the demand for modern contraceptives satisfied. Both of those commitments have been fulfilled.

“India continues to be one of the countries with the highest levels of domestic government expenditure, reflecting the governments’ commitment to its family planning programmes,” the report said.

“This year’s data includes estimates for 54 countries amounting to nearly $1.6 billion in spending. Most of that figure is attributable to just five countries: India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Philippines,” it said.

In India, over 139 million women and girls now use a modern method of contraception, it further said.

The report said 320 million women and girls in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries now have access to family planning, according to new figures released by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020).

“India continues to be one of the countries with the highest levels of domestic government expenditure, reflecting the governments’ commitment to its family planning programmes,” the report said.

Speaking on the occasion, Health minister Harsh Vardhan expressed his gratitude to be part of this momentous event celebrating the crucial Family Planning 2020 partnership and reminded the audience that India has always valued its membership of the Family Planning 2020 partnership.

He also lauded the invaluable efforts made by the alliance to strengthen family planning services across the world.

Lauding the alliance for adding great zeal to India’s efforts by helping in the creation of synergy between various endeavours in the space of family planning, he observed, “The partnership has played a fundamental role in facilitating exchange of knowledge among member states about latest contraceptives as well as best practices being followed to accelerate adoption of family planning services by the general population”.

Vardhan underscored the importance of the FP partnership in helping India fulfil its objectives in family planning.

Summing up India’s achievements, he noted, “Improving the quality of contraceptives, augmenting contraceptive demand through comprehensive IEC campaigns, and focused interventions in high fertility districts through Mission Parivar Vikas, have been few of the country’s notable achievements. As a result, we have witnessed an impressive decline in fertility and maternal mortality in the last few years. We continue to strive to substantially reduce the unmet need for contraception by 2030.”

On India’s proposed contribution to the next phase of Family Planning Partnership, Vardhan stated: “We realize that advancing collaborations, adopting a more focused approach, and addressing the needs of young population will be of prime importance. India remains committed towards this global agenda. The overall aim thus, is to plan and implement this refurbished approach with the vision that every child is wanted, every birth is safe, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity.”

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