“We want to discuss FP2020 in the context of health, not just contraception,” said Dr Rakesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in his keynote address at the National Consultation on Meeting People’s Family Planning Needs to Achieve FP2020 Goals. Organised by the Public Health Foundation of India, in collaboration with MoHFW and supported by Urban Health Initiative (UHI), the Consultation brought together more than 100 participants including government officials from health departments of ten states, heads of multilateral aid agencies, experts from several specialist institutionsand programme implementers.
Discussions on strategies to meet unmet needs of contraception to achieve Family Planning goals by the year 2020 (FP2020) preceded the dialogue on innovations and practical measures that have proved effective, along with proposed future action.
India is the principal participant in the global FP2020 action plan, having pledged to meet the unmet contraception need for family planning for an estimated 48 million couples by the year 2020. Placed in the context of the Government of India’s RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Adolescents) programme, the initiative has been structured to allow for decentralised action at the state and district levels.
The global FP2020 goals were finalised in 2012 with the view that population impacts every aspect of life -— economic, social, health, family and personal.
Participants at the National Consultation dwelt particularly on the issues of ‘unmet need’, meeting needs for spacing as well as limiting, expanding choices, ensuring quality services and reaching young people. Participants also focused particularly on the status of family planning services in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which have the highest fertility as well as maternal and child mortalityrates.
The Consultation drew attention to innovative measures that have helped improve access to and use of contraception, including the institutionalisation of fixed-service days, the importance of outreach contacts and counsellors, and of family planning logistics. Post-partum contraceptive services, particularly PPIUCDhas proved to be especially effective in improving birth-spacing. This was reported from the field in every state.
Discussions also highlighted the viability and need for public-private partnerships, emphasising that such initiatives must be expanded. Focused plenary sessions were held on Improving Access and Quality of Care and on Private Sector Engagement.