JP Nadda also informed that the new health policy will improve health outcomes and reduces out-of-pocket expenses
“In the last three years India has made many noteworthy strides in health. Our efforts are to build a healthy India,” stated J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, while speaking about the achievements of the Ministry in the past three years. The Minister also released a compilation of these achievements in a book- ‘3 years of Transforming India – Health for All,’ on Thursday in New Delhi.
Listing out the policies initiatives taken by the MoHFW, Nadda said, “The ministry’s new health policy will improve health outcomes and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The policy is aimed at making healthcare affordable and reach to all, particularly to the underserved and underprivileged. We will be making significant advances to address the needs in the health system and move on to create robust infrastructure and capabilities. The new health policy focuses more on prevention of diseases, promoting good health and assuring quality comprehensive primary care to all. The emphasis, therefore, is to move away from sick care to wellness. We are also trying to enhance tertiary healthcare and build the Indian health system of the future.”
Highlighting the various policy initiatives and their impact, Nadda also informed that a new programme, ‘Mission Parivar Vikas’, for high fertility districts in seven states will be launched soon.
“Under this mission we have selected 146 districts in seven states which have with a total fertility rate of three and above and are an obstacle in population stabilisation. We have to put special focus on these districts, as with total fertility rate (TFR) 3 and above, they contribute to 28 per cent of India’s population, 25-30 per cent of maternal deaths and 50 per cent of infant deaths,” the minister said.
The districts, in the seven states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam, have been identified as high-focus districts to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies.
TFR (the number of children who would be born per woman) has a direct correlation with maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR).Under the programme, the government will study each district to find why fertility rates are higher and will take measures to address them.
“The greater the TFR, the more will be the MMR and IMR. Hence, reducing TFR would lead to decrease in maternal mortality and morbidity and infant mortality and morbidity,” Nadda said.
As part of the programme, the health ministry will distribute a kit containing products of family planning and personal hygiene among newly-wed couples.
“The kits will be distributed by ASHA workers to encourage inter-spousal communication and consensual decision-making with regards to their reproductive and sexual health as well as delay the birth of the first child and space the second,” a senior health ministry official said.
The MoHFW will also augment sterilisation services through enhanced HFD (high fertility district) compensation scheme, roll out injectable contraceptive at sub centre level and generate awareness about condoms and pills.
‘Saas Bahu Sammelans’ will also be held to facilitate improved communication between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law and bridge the gap in their attitudes and beliefs about reproductive and sexual health. Besides, special buses called ‘SAARTHI-Awareness on Wheels’ will travel through these districts to generate awareness as well as sensitise the community and disseminate family planning messages.