Free injectable contraceptives program ‘Antara’ launched in Odisha

KalingaTV News Network

Antara ProgramBhubaneswar: With an aim to strengthen the family planning programme in Odisha, the state Health and Family Welfare department today launched a programme called Injectable Contraceptive or Antara Programme.

Speaking on the occasion of the launching ceremony of Antara Programme, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Govt. of Odisha, H & FW Dept. Dr. P.K Meherda said, this contraceptive is highly effective, very convenient, tested and tried as a very safe method of family planning and is in use in more than 130 countries around the world. It will also help women who are unable to convince their partners to use contraceptives.

Dr. Binod Kumar Mishra, Director, Family Welfare, said the quality of services is of high importance to the department and preparatory activities to roll out injectable contraceptive scheme have been completed. This includes orientation of district teams, roll out action plans and training of counsellors. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is providing technical support in rolling out the injectable contraceptives in the state which, besides procuring supplies for the country.

Notably, the injectable contraceptive is supposed to be used within a week from the day a woman’s menstrual cycle starts. Currently, the injections are available for free at public health facilities. The availability of the injections may help reduce the maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate in the state. It has to be taken only once every 3 months.

Providing more contraceptive choices to the eligible clients is the fulcrum of the family planning programme of any state and country. Evidence of contraceptive method mix has shown that with addition of a single new method, there is a linear increase of mCPR (modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate) by 3.4%. In view of that, Govt. of India has added three new contraceptives – Injectable DMPA (Antara Programme), Progestrone Only Pill (POP), Centchroman (Chhaya). The main advantages with the newer contraceptives are they can be safely used in post-partum or lactation period and are highly effective with few side effects. Previously, we had only two choices IUCD or CC for lactating mothers.

Promoting informed choices and voluntary decision making among the eligible clients has been the mainstay of family planning programme as per the mandate of Vision FP2020. State government is undertaking several measures to adhere to this principle and is duty-bound to implement the measures as per the directives of Hon’ble Supreme Court for promoting quality of care in family planning service delivery in order to protect the reproductive rights of all eligible couples accepting family planning services.

Reproductive Health (RH) is an integral part of the RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Adolescent) programme currently being implemented across the country, including Odisha. Family Planning plays an important role in influencing the outcomes of maternal and child health programmes. It provides freedom and opportunity to individuals for regulating their fertility by adopting suitable methods of contraception in order to have a safe and satisfying sexual life free from any form of violence and coercion.

The family welfare programme started in the country way back in 1952 with the objective of stabilizing the population in order to accelerate economic growth. This programme was implemented in Odisha in 1956 with similar programme objectives.

Among others, Dy. Commissioner – FP Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Dr. S.K Sikdar, Commissioner-cum-Mission Director, NHM, Odisha, Smt Shalini Pandit were present at the launching ceremony of Antara Program.

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