DFID to roll out project on family planning in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: UK government's Department for International Development (DFID) has agreed to roll out a reproductive health framework project worth Rs 40 crore to address the need for family planning and reproductive health services in Odisha, official sources said.
 
The objective is to reduce deaths from unwanted pregnancies and reduce fertility rates in the state, Health Minister Damodar Rout said, adding, that the project will help increase contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 38 per cent to 48 per cent by 2015.
 
A team of DFID officials recently held discussions with the state government officials. "The state government is ready to afford administrative approval to the proposal and an MoU would be signed within next fortnight," the minister said.
 
Contraceptive prevalence in the state indicates that modern methods are used by less than 45 per cent of the population.
 
Female sterilisation is the most prevalent method at 71 per cent, indicating that there is low knowledge, need and the demand for the spacing methods. The unmet need for contraception is higher in rural areas at 24 per cent than urban areas at 17 per cent. One of the immediate fallouts of high unmet need is unwanted pregnancy that ultimately leads to high number of abortions.
 
Most often these abortions are performed in unhygienic conditions by unskilled personnel. As per the Annual Health Survey 2011, about six per cent of pregnancies among women resulted in abortions and as high as 40 per cent were performed by unskilled personnel.
 
The project seeks to address the situation by introducing social marketing and social franchising methods to increase CPR among the most neglected and left-out sections.
 
The product baskets would cover all modern contraceptives from condoms, pills, IUCDs, injectable, sanitary napkins, pregnancy test kits and made available through retailers drawn from the community itself.
 
The franchisee facilities would have clinics with doctors and paramedics. They would host integrated family planning camps as well as conduct mobile outreach camps. They would also hold programmes to generate awareness on contraceptive use among the population.
 
The project aims at covering about 2.80 lakh new users under family planning services while extending safe abortion services to one lakh women. A network of 6,000 plus social marketing outlets would be established along with 80 plus franchise outlets.
 
The project would be undertaken by Future Group, the international organisation working in their field of family planning and reproductive health in several countries with DFID pledging about Rs 40 crore for the purpose, they said.