BENGALURU: The state government’s Department of Health and Family Welfare Services is coordinating with NGO EngenderHealth to popularise the use of injectable contraceptives among women in the city through government hospitals. Although the Central government launched the contraceptive, named Antara, towards end of 2017, it is yet to catch up in the city.
As per data shared by the NGO, from April to December 2018, 594 units of Antara have been administered in government hospitals in Bengaluru urban area.
“We are working with doctors, nurses, ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) to train them in administering Antara. The ASHA and ANM workers are trained to go to urban slums, since the awareness among women there is low,” said Dr
Harshwardhan, team leader for Karnataka and Maharashtra region, EngenderHealth.
The staff in public health centres, community health centres, government hospitals, BBMP health centres, provide counselling to the women, information on side effects, how often the injectable has to be administered to prevent pregnancy, etc. The hormonal injection is administered on the arm of the patient and subsequent doses will have to be given once every three months.
Dr Rajkumar, deputy director, women and child health in the state’s Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, said,“Awareness on this form of contraception is low and there are a lot of misconceptions as well. ‘Will it lead to infertility, pain, side-effects, etc?’ are some of the doubts women have. While BBMP and government hospitals have the injectable in stock, the NGO is working with us to upskill them. We are training hospital staff in Bengaluru along with 14 other districts in Karnataka.”
“While we take care of the supply side in offering the facility, the public needs to demand for this as well. ASHA workers play a crucial role in disseminating information regarding the same,” he said, adding that the service costs almost nothing in state-owned hospitals.
Vani vilas, Ghousia,KC General Hospital,Jayanagar General Hospital, CV Raman Nagar Hospital are some of the government hospitals that EngenderHealth is working with the government to promote Antara.
At the state level, 411 units of Antara have been administered across taluks.