India’s birth rate falls below 2.1, contraceptive prevalence rises: NFHS | Latest India News

India’s total fertility rate (TFR), or the average number of children a woman has in her lifetime, has dropped from 2.2 to 2, while the contraception prevalence rate (CPR) has increased from 54% to 67%, according to the National Family Health Survey data-5. The union’s health ministry released data for phase 2 of the survey on Wednesday; Phase 1 data was released in December 2020.

A TFR of 2.1 is called the replacement rate and means that there will be neither an increase nor a decrease in the population.

According to the fourth edition of the survey conducted between 2015 and 2016, the TFR was 2.2. The fifth survey was conducted in two phases between 2019 and 2021 and reflects progress in population control.

VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said NFHS-5 shows the momentum to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals continues to accelerate. “Data from the survey would help the government achieve universal health coverage,” he added.

Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were examined in phase 2. Except for Madhya Pradesh Jharkhandsthan, Uttar Pradesh, all of the other states examined have a TFR that is at or below the replacement level.

Combination of both phases, four of India’s 36 states and union territories have a TFR that is above the national average. Of course, the NFHS is a sample survey, not an enumeration like the National Census.

Of course, the NFHS is a sample survey, not an enumeration like the National Census.

Meanwhile, CPR at the all-India level has increased significantly from 54% to 67%. The unmet need for family planning has decreased from 13% to 9%, as the survey shows.

The government-sponsored family planning program was launched in 1952 to slow down population growth. It initially faced challenges related to a flawed strategy that resulted in women mainly using contraception. There was also a limited choice of contraceptives for young couples. Officials said the changes introduced over the years had improved results.

“India has been working on population control for a long time. In fact, India was the first country to embark on a national family planning program and the encouraging results we are seeing now are thanks to the continued, concerted efforts of the center and state governments, ”an official told the Central government continues anonymity.

Mission Pariwar Vikas was launched in 2016 to improve access to contraception and family planning services. Particular attention was paid to 146 high fertility districts in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand to ensure the availability of contraceptive methods at all levels.

Experts say the introduction of new reversible spacing methods (gaps between children), wage compensation systems for sterilization, and the promotion of small family norms have also worked well over the years.

NFHS-5 also highlights advances in other areas: total vaccination in children aged 12 to 23 months has increased from 62% to 76%; the number of women receiving four or more recommended screening exams from a health care provider increased from 51% to 58%; institutional births rose from 79% to 89%; growth retardation decreased from 38% to 36%; and waste from 21 to 19%.

“The total fertility rate, which was 6 or more in the 1950s, has dropped to 2 and India has achieved a total fertility rate below the replacement level. And it happens without any enforced two-child norm; it’s voluntary, ”said Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India.

“However, the total population of India is not going to shrink immediately. The country is experiencing population dynamics due to demographic change. India has a high proportion of young people in the 10 to 24 age group who are or will soon be of reproductive age, around 30.9%. Even if this cohort produces one or two children per couple, the total population will still absolutely increase, ”she said.

“This is good news, but there is also bad news – men still don’t take responsibility. Male sterilization uptake is slow; the burden of family planning rests largely on women. Condom use has increased but is still low. The men have to step up, ”she added.

“We need to invest more in family planning. We have to keep girls in schools – the birth rate drops when girls are educated. We have to introduce more modern methods of distance regulation and continue the quality of family planning. ”

Muttreja said, “We will not know the impact of the pandemic in NFHS-5; the data for 17 states and five union territories came out in December 2020 and was collected before the pandemic. We know that fertility may have increased during Covid-19 because women did not have access to family planning services and sterilization, but there is currently no actual data on this. There has also been great migration, and when migrant workers return it is often the result of pregnancy. According to the UN AIDS 2021 report, COVID-19 has restricted access to contraception for 26 million couples in India, which will have long-term consequences. ”

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