Bihar govt initiates steps to stabilize population

PATNA: Bihar’s total fertility rate ( TFR) is 3.9 which is one of the highest in the country, the national average being 2.6. Though it is the 12th largest state in the country, it is ranked 3rd in terms of population.

What makes the situation serious is that while the birth rate is higher than the national average, death rate is below the national average. Bihar’s birth rate is 28.5 per 1000 of population, compared to the all-India level of 22.5, while the death rate is 7 against the national average of 7.3. All these data exemplify one thing – there is an urgent need for containing the ever-increasing population in the state.

Although, Bihar government has taken several initiatives in recent times to eliminate factors responsible for the increase in population, a lot more effort and time needs to be spared to achieve the desired result.

The most ambitious programme launched by the state government recently was signing an agreement with Jhpiego, a US body and a pioneer in the field of providing health care services and development of human capacity worldwide.

Under the agreement, Jhpiego is providing technical assistance to the Bihar government in the area of postpartum family planning (PPFP) and Pre-service education (PSE) for nursing and midwifery cadre in the state. Under the programme, several activities have been conducted during the last couple of months for the successful implementation of the project, said State Health Society, Bihar executive director (ED) cum health secretary Sanjay Kumar. Incidentally, SHS, Bihar is the nodal organization for the execution of the project.

Kumar said the project activities done so far include training of doctors and nurses in the six government medical colleges for competency-based Postpartum Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (PPIUCD) insertions, adding 1,300 insertions were done by July 31 this year. Again, need-based assessment and orientations, sensitization meetings with all the stakeholders and start-up clinical trainings for providers have been completed in all the medical colleges, Kumar said and added training has also been conducted for the 22 master trainers who will eventually train 80,000 Asha workers through district level trainers.

He said provision to hire family planning (FP) counsellors at all first referral units (FRUs) and medical colleges of the state has already been approved, adding the state is establishing FP corners at all the 76 FRUs, six government medical colleges and three pre-identified hospitals.

The measures will help in creating awareness and demand for PPFP services among communities, Kumar said, adding the services would include post-abortion family planning services which are an essential part of the comprehensive abortion care. PSE for nursing and midwifery aims to strengthen delivery of high impact maternal, newborn, child health and family planning interventions at community level.

Source: TOI

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