BHUBANESWAR: The growth of population in Odisha is finally slowing down. If the statistics are to be believed, the State’s total fertility rate (TFR), which indicates the average number of children born to each woman, has recorded a significant decline from 3.77 in 1990 to 2.1.
Official sources said districts like Angul, Puri, Bargarh, Jharsuguda and Jagatsinghpur have TFR of 1.9, 1.9, 1.9, 1.8 and 2 respectively. Districts having high TFR are Boudh, Koraput, Nabarangpur,Nuapada with 3.5, 2.9, 2.8 and 2.7 respectively.
While 14 districts have achieved TFR less than 2.1, the rate at which a population replaces itself from one generation to the next without migration,16 districts have TFR above 2.2.
However, the unmet need for family planning (women who want to stop or delay childbearing but are not using any method of contraception) continues to be high at 19 per cent. The modern contraceptive prevalence rate in Odisha is 46.3 per cent.
The State has the fourth highest Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) with 222 deaths per one lakh deliveries and third highest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) with 49 deaths per 10,000 children born here. At least 25.9 per cent of currently married women aged 15-49 years were married before the legal age of 18 years with 7.2 per cent teenage births.
Meanwhile, the State has prepared the family planning 2020 road map to achieve higher health standards in different areas. The Government has undertaken several initiatives to expand range and reach of reproductive health services in the State where women are able to decide freely, whether, when and how often to give birth.
Health Secretary Arti Ahuja said the emphasis is to provide services for both limiting and spacing methods, engage men in family planning and timely plan births through information choices and quality services.
Of the 30 district in the State, 10 districts - Nuapada, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Boudh, Gajapati, Balangir and Kalahandi are designated as high priority districts (HPD) for focused Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) interventions.
Strategies have been made to add additional 19 lakh new users of contraceptives by 2020 and sustain current usage of contraceptives by 32 lakh users in the State. The State endeavors to take up all measures by expanding, strengthening and ensuring quality reproductive health services with the focus on providing basket of choices for contraceptives.
An accelerated IMR and MMR reduction strategy also has been launched with a view to expediting faster reduction in IMR and MMR. The emphasis is on ensuring services to the most difficult areas mapped out based on a composite index. A continuum of care approach is adopted covering RMNCH+A, where family planning is one of the important pillars in reducing maternal and infant mortalities.