Odisha rewards female health workers for inspiring performance in family planning sector

Population Fortnight Campaign’ launched on World Population Day

Bhubaneswar: Celebrating World Population Day, Odisha Government on Saturday awarded and felicitated female health workers, ASHA workers from 10 high priority districts for their inspiring performance in the family planning sector in 2014-15. Image 6 -World Population Day-2015

In a state level function graced by state Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, the best performing female health workers from the 10 high priority districts of Gajapati, Mayurbhanj, Bolangir, Koraput, Rayagada, Keonjhar, Nayagarh, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal and Angul were honoured along with surgeons. The award for best five ASHAs motivating eligible couples with one or two children Image 7 -World Population Day-2015for accepting limiting method went to Subhadra Sabara, Babita Sabara and P Amalu of Gajapati district. Simililarly, the award for best five ASHAs motivating eligible couples in the high priority districts to delay first pregnancy for minimum two years and spacing between first and second child minimum 3 years went to Tapasi Pani from Koraput and Purnami Seth, Madana Naik, Santoshi Devi and Mandakini Sahu, all from Bolangir district.

The Minister felicitated and awarded Gajapati, Mayurbhanj and Bolangir as best three districts for family planning performance on sterilisation operation and Koraput, Rayagada and Keonjhar were also awarded for best performance in conducting Vasectomy operation during 2014-15. Nayagarh and Jharsuguda were awarded for best performance in IUCD while Jharsuguda and Angul districts were felicitated for best performance in PPIUCD insertions.

It may be noted here that after a gap of several years, eligible couple survey activity has been revived by H & FW department in Odisha wherein more than forty three thousand ASHAs are already engaged to identify the eligible couples in their village with their contraceptive preferences which has resulted in promoting informed choices and voluntary decision making among rural communities successfully. Initiation of the ‘AWARD for Family Planning Achievement’ three years back by Odisha government in various categories being given away during ‘world population day on 11th July’ for family planning services has indeed motivated the service providers and community volunteers, which has resulted in increase in service uptakes as the initiative has been able to inject zest and zeal among the programme managers. This year department of H & FW gave away cash awards and felicitate best performers in family planning service delivery in the following categories.

Principal Secretary, Health & FW Department Arti Ahuja, Mission Director, NHM, Odisha Roopa Mishra, Director of Family Welfare Dr. Nirmala Dei and several other dignitaries and health workers also attended the state level ceremony for observance of World Population Day at Bhubaneswar.

This year World Population Day is being observed with launching of “Population Stabilization Fortnight” from 11th to 24th July 2015 all across the state. It was preceded by a “Mobilization Fortnight” from 27th June to 10th July 2015 for creating awareness on population control and generating demand for family planning services.

This year’s global theme is “Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies”. The world is seeing a record number of people displaced by crises – some 60 million according to the latest UN reports. With this huge displacement during disaster, women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable. Violent extremists and armed groups are committing terrible abuses that result in trauma, unintended pregnancy and infection with HIV and other diseases.

Odisha’s progress in family planning programme which is the only means of controlling the population growth, during last 4-5 years has been quite encouraging. Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the most important indicator in population control programme in Odisha has decreased from a shocking high of 4.7 to 2.1 (SRS-2012), the replacement fertility level, which is an outstanding achievement in itself wherein the national average (2.3) is still higher than that of Odisha.

Also, as a follow up measure to ‘London Summit on Family Planning’ held in July 2012, Odisha has undertaken several measures in order to strengthen the family planning programme for ‘Achieving 19 lakh new Contraceptive Users’ by 2020 as part of FP2020 Vision in order both to prevent unwanted pregnancies and limit the family. In order to reach out to the newly married and young couples living in the rural areas a scheme namely ‘home delivery of contraceptives by ASHA at the doorstep of the beneficiaries’ is in operation in all the 30 districts since 2011 which has been quite successful in addressing unmet needs in spacing child births among eligible couples by promoting informed choices. This has resulted in significantly reducing the Unmet Need for Family Planning Services in Odisha to 18.9% (Annual Health Survey-2012-13).

In order to ensure Contraceptive Commodity Security for all the Eligible Couples/Clients in the state, Odisha Government has developed an Innovation namely “Reproductive Health Contraceptive Logistics Management Information System (RHCLMIS) with support from Development Partner UNFPA, which has successfully addressed the issue of contraceptive stock outs in all the 30 districts by strengthening the overall supply chain system. This innovation has been duly acknowledged by Govt of India and measures are underway by the Central Government to replicate this intervention in other high fertility states. This innovation has in fact found a place in WHO-UNFPA Global Report in 2015, which is a matter of elation for Odisha.

Given the increase in the numbers of institutional deliveries due to JSY and JSSK, initiatives have been taken in increasing the post-partum contraceptive services through both promotion of family planning counselling and services by facility based service providers which have resulted in significant increase in post-partum contraceptive acceptance. More than 36,347 PPIUCD insertions have been done within 48 hours post-delivery at the health facility by trained service providers in 2014-15 against merely 4,818 in the year 2013-14.

As part of the compliance to the Directions of the Supreme Court, Odisha has ensured that the entire range of family planning services particularly the sterilisation operations be available in public health facilities adhering to strict quality norms with prudent clinical practices, which has resulted in minimising deaths, complications and failures following family planning operations. Due to several effective and result-oriented initiatives, Odisha’s Decadal Growth Rate has decreased from 16.25% (Census-2001) to 13.97% (Census-2011) which is lower than the national average (17.64%) that indicates the state’s significant progress in achieving the goal of population stabilisation. As a measure of controlling the population growth in Odisha, H & FW department has been implementing a number of family planning and reproductive health programmes that has resulted in decrease in the Birth Rate to 20.1 in 2011 from 23.5 in 2001.

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