Free injectable contraceptives Antara programme launched in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to strengthen the family planning programme in the state of Odisha, the state’s health and family welfare department today launched a programme called the Injectable Contraceptive which is also called as Antara Programme.

In the launching ceremony of Antara Programme Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Govt. of Odisha, H & FW Dept. Dr. P.K Meherda, 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, Director of Family Welfare, Odisha, Dr. Binod Kumar Mishra were present.

Speaking on the launching ceremony of Antara Programme, 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 more than 130 countries around the world. It will also help women who are not able to convince their partners to use contraceptives.

Dr. Binod Kumar Mishra, Director, family welfare mentioned that quality of services is of high importance to the department and preparatory activities to roll out injectable have been completed. This includes, orientation of district teams, roll out action plans and training of counselors. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is providing technical support in rolling out the injectables in the state which also procured supplies for the country.
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 in every 3 months.

Providing more contraceptives 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 these 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. Our 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 all 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 which is 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 the economic growth. This programme was implemented in Odisha in 1956 with similar programme objectives.

India is the largest democracy and second most populous country in the world with more than 126 Crores of population i,e. 17.5% of global population residing in less than 2.4% of the global surface area. Odisha is a state with 4.19 crore population. 40% of our state population are in the age group of 13 to 35 years and each year a sizable portion of the population enters into the reproductive age group.