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Reproductive health and rights group holds forum

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 17, 2019 12:12 am
Members of the FPAI interact with media persons at a youth and media event, on July 15 in Kohima.

Our Correspondent
Kohima, July 16 (EMN): As part of an ongoing campaign called the “Youth dialogue: A perspective on Family Planning 2020,” members of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) interacted with media persons on issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The interaction was conducted on July 15 in Kohima.

The campaign was officially launched on June 21 this year via social media across 16 different family planning branches in India. The campaign aimed at initiating dialogues on SRHS and family planning with young people and stakeholders across the country. It also envisages inculcate comprehensive sex education (CSE) as part of the curriculum in educational institutions.

The general manager of FPAI for Nagaland, Vincent Belho said that the fundamental right of individuals to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children to have is central to the vision and goals of Family Planning 2020 (FP 2020).

“FP2020 efforts aim to result in fewer unintended pregnancies, fewer women and girls dying in pregnancy and childbirth, including from unsafe abortions, and fewer infant deaths,” he said.

‘India is the most populous country in the world and we are trying to stay away from the topics that discusses about sexuality yet the population is increasing’ Belho queried.

Why we are unable to talk about contraceptives, that too modern contraceptives of our choice, he further asked when talked about rights of sexual and reproductive health. Lack of awareness regarding SRHS is the major challenge in Nagaland, he added.

Speaking during the meeting was Siddhart Monhanty, manager for advocacy and partnerships of the FPAI India.

‘There is a stigma among young people while talking of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The advocacy of discussing sexual reproductive health should start from home. We have to start talking about sexual issues starting from early adolescent stage, so that they can understand in the later stage of life,’ he said.

Saying that policy makers framed rights of sexual reproductive health that targets only to married section, it is time to start talking about SRHR among the unmarried section as well, he said.

‘We want to show government that this is the gap in a hope that decision makers take up the issue. We are trying to show the government the reality of the grass root level and let government intervene,’ Mohanty added.

“The Government of India is committed to the FP2020 goals, driven by Access, Choice and Quality of FP services, to increase the modern contraceptive usage from 53.1% to 54.3% and ensure that 74% of the demand for modern contraceptives is satisfied by 2020. Vision FP 2020 for India is not just about providing contraceptive services to additional 48 million users but aversion of 23.9 million births, one million infant deaths and over 42000 maternal deaths by 2020,” he said.

“The NFHS 4 has recorded unmet need of young married women (15-24 years old) at a staggering 45%. The unmet need of unmarried young people is not documented through any national survey reports yet. Studies consistently show that sexually active adolescents (married or unmarried) face many barriers to obtaining contraceptive services and products to prevent pregnancy—whether to delay, space, or limit pregnancy”, Mohanty added.

There is a need to assess the needs, choices and expectations of youth vis-à-vis and RH ensuring that the voices of unmarried populations and adolescents are also well documented, it added.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 17, 2019 12:12:58 am