Docs from country join hands on to control population – AHMEDABAD

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat’s Chiranjeevi Yojana which pioneered the concept of a public-private partnership (PPP) in the health sector where private doctors conduct deliveries of poor women in private hospitals, for a subsidised amount is now being recommended to be emulated in other states. This is being done to offer better health services to the poor and to help control population.

A paper by the Population Stabilisation Cell of the Union health ministry says that this scheme which has helped thousands of poor mothers and children dodge death at birth. And, it should be emulated by other states to provide better reproductive and child healthcare to mothers in our country.

“Population regulation is directly linked to lowering the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). States in which fertility rate is high have high IMR and MMR which reflects poor quality of healthcare. We need to explore innovative ways for deliveries and Chiranjeevi Scheme shows the way forward,” Dr Amarjit Singh of the cell said.

Over 800 gynaecologists have joined the Chiranjeevi Scheme and carried out more than 50,000 insitutional deliveries for below the poverty line mothers. “At an MMR of 300, the state could have lost 1,500 mothers, however, as the deliveries were carried out by skilled attendants, 77 mothers died. The scheme also saved a large number of neonates who used to die because of poorly handled deliveries,” says the paper.

In fact, more than 400 gynaecologists in Uttar Pradesh have expressed readiness to join hands with the government. In UP, of the 55 lakh annual deliveries, only 21 lakh were carried out in institutions, the rest were supervised by quacks, dais or family members.

Meanwhile, the population of the country has grown from 23 crore in 1901 to 102 crore in 2001. The country is growing at an annual rate of 1.4 per cent while China is growing at 0.6 per cent. If things proceed at this pace, India will soon overtake China as the most populous country in the world.

In India, over 45 per cent of the population growth by the year 2030 will be from high fertility states of UP (22 per cent), Bihar (8 per cent), Rajasthan (8 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (7 per cent).

More awareness needs to be created about use of family planning methods as 46 per cent of people do not use any contraception in states where the fertility rate is high. Ironically, even when such services are made available to the poor they are delayed. Like, 84 per cent of the sterilisations are carried out when already the mohter has given birth to three children and 97 per cent intra-uterine devices are inserted after two children.

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