Union Health Minister J P Nadda today launched a family planning programme aimed at "stabilising" population growth in 146 districts of seven states that account for nearly 28 per cent of the country's population. The 'Mission Parivar Vikas' was launched at a function organised by the Jansankhya Sthirita Kosh here to mark World Population Day. The highly-populated districts in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam have a total fertility rate (TFR) of three and above. These districts have been identified as high focus areas under the programme to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies. "Under the initiative, specific targeted initiatives shall be taken for population stabilisation through better services delivery," an official statement said quoting Nadda. Nadda said the programme was a new initiative conceived by his ministry with a strategic focus on improving access through provision of services, promotional schemes, commodity security, capacity building, enabling environment and intensive monitoring. The minister advised his ministry officials to undertake half-yearly review of the programme and correlate the achievements with time to gauge whether the programme was moving in the right direction or not. "We have enhanced the basket of contraceptive choices to meet the changing needs of people and have taken steps to ensure quality assured services and commodities are delivered to the last-mile consumers in both rural and urban areas," he said. At the event, Nadda also launched a software -- Family Planning Logistics Management Information System (FP-LMIS) -- designed to provide information on the demand and distribution of contraceptives to health facilities and ASHAs to strengthen the supply chain management. As part of a communication campaign linked to the family planning programme, Nadda also launched a website and a 52- week radio show for couples to discuss issues related to marriage and family planning, which will be aired across the country.
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