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Repositioning of Family Planning in Urban India

  • Swati Mahajan
  • Agency : Repositioning, National Family Planning Program, Population Stabilization, Urban areas
  • Objective : To study and understand the policies /guidelines of Govt. related to family planning and contraception, with special reference to urban areas. Identify the gaps in the Family Planning Program, and suggest strategies for effectively repositioning the FP program in urban areas of the country
  • Background : The National Population Policy (NPP), 2000 adopted by Government of India assumed that the country would achieve replacement level TFR of 2.1 by the year 2010 and long-term objective of stable population by year 2045, but the performance of several states indicates that it will shoot past this forecast. Further, there is a significant rural- urban and urban poor- non poor divide that affects the National Family Planning Program. The FP program has been rural centric from the time of its initiation, in terms of availability of infrastructure as well as service providers and the focus of policy makers and program mangers. Majority of the Urban Family Welfare Centres and the Urban Health Posts are dysfunctional, the population in urban areas of the country is ever increasing and the fertility indicators of the urban poor population are equivalent to that of ru ral population (as per re-analysis of NFHS III). Against this background, it can be inferred that there is a need to Reposition Family Planning with a special focus on the urban areas of the country.
  • Methodology : The present study attempts to understand the current scenario of contraceptive services offered in the urban areas, to identify the gaps in the family planning program and suggest feasible ways for repositioning of family planning in urban areas of the country through review and analysis of secondary information (both quantitative and qualitative) from various sources.
  • Findings : There are many gaps existing in the National Family Welfare Program such as inadequate infrastructure in urban areas, gaps in training of service providers, supply chain issues, limited basket of choice, undue focus on sterilization, lack of informed choice, limited male involvement, high unmet need, son preference, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, short birth intervals, limited involvement of private sector and NGOs, failure to integrate with MCH program and reduced thrust on FP performance.
  • Recommendations : For promoting reproductive health within the wider context of sustainable development, a strategy for repositioning of family planning in urban areas must be formulated. The major pillars of this strategy include improving service delivery through skilled manpower development, expanding the basket of choice, promoting method mix, counseling, integration with MCH and HIV/AIDS, accreditation and involvement of private sector and social marketing to increase the reach of quality contraceptive services and demand side interventions like developing a behavior change communication strategy for family planning, increasing male involvement, women empowerment and a rights based approach where in, women can exercise control over their reproductive rights. Hence, there is a clear need to Reposition Family Planning in urban India for achieving the goals of National Population Policy, 2000 and to promote optimal maternal and child health through a concerted, community owned and convergent action.
To study and understand the policies /guidelines of Govt. related to family planning and contraception