Launch of new contraceptives – a game changer to stabilize population growth

Uttar Pradesh still remains the highest populous state in India, with the total fertility rate (TFR) of 3.3 contributing most to India’s high population growth. 

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Uttar Pradesh still remains the highest populous state in India, with the total fertility rate (TFR) of 3.3 contributing most to India’s high population growth.  A new initiative, Mission Parivar Vikas has been conceived by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare last year, with the aim to bring down the TFR to 2.1, by the year 2025.

Under this mission, two safe and highly effective contraceptives, the ‘ANTARA’ injectable being effective for three months and the ‘CHAYYA’ pill for one week is being introduced to  help meet the changing needs of couples and help women plan and space their pregnancies.

Hathras is a poor performing district in Uttar Pradesh with a  population of about 13 lakhs, with TFR- 3.2, MMR - 314 and IMR - 61. Hathras, is one of the high focus districts with an unmet need of about 13.6%. The initiative launched in the district has given a boost to the efforts focused on reducing the TFR.

UPTSU is supporting the UP government’s focus to have a stable population and ensure improved access for womens’ healthcare through conducting the state and district TOTs for master trainers, the trainings of frontline workers for the intervention blocks.

The new contraceptives, ANTRA and CHHAYA were launched and inaugurated by Mr. Amit Kumar (IAS) District Magistrate, Hathras on 15th Feb 2018. Post the launch and trainings, UPTSU supported ASHAs intensive efforts that led to provision of ANTRA 1st dose to 240 and 2nd dose to 17 people. There has been a tremendous positive feedback received from the women about the contraceptives.

However, UPTSU team observed that the supply of the ANTRA injection is much less than the demand to cater to the needs of the women in the district. About, 240 ANTRA injections was procured from the CMSD store in Hathras at the time of launch and were going to finish before the second dose date approaches, which was a matter of concern.

Given, the high demand and positive results that can be achieved from the contraceptives, UPTSU decided to take action to arrange for the contraceptives from various supply stores, including Aligarh & AGRA Divisional Store following meeting with the Aligarh Additional director but no stock was available with them.

The team then approached ETAH & AGRA District Women Hospital and managed to arrange 100 ANTRA doses. This was a big success for the UPTSU team as timely intervention and advocacy efforts helped them to initiate the 2nd dose of ANTRA on-time and cater to the needs of the women.

UPTSU team, also initiated the process of procuring ANTARA stock at Agra Div. store, and additionally, developing a clear demand-supply plan on priority basis. The government officials of Hathras and UPTSU team jointly work together to address the needs of the women, which clearly reflects their commitment to improve family planning indicators of Hathras district.

This is one of many efforts being conducted under the Uttar Pradesh- Technical Support Unit in collaboration with Government of Uttar Pradesh where the project is working towards stabilizing population growth through the adoption of effective family planning methods.