New Delhi, Jan 25: Family planning has emerged as a "key" strategy to reduce maternal and child mortalities in India, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said even as he asserted that the government is now emphasising on promotion of spacing methods.
Noting that 45 per cent of maternal deaths in India occur in the age group 15 to 25 years, Nadda said the country is moving from "limiting to delaying and spacing" methods for wider health benefits.
"The country has undergone a paradigm shift and now family planning has emerged as a key strategy to reduce maternal and child mortalities and morbidities. There has been a key emphasis now on promotion and provision of spacing methods.
"Considering that 45 per cent of the country's maternal deaths occur in the age group 15 to 25 years where 47 per cent of the total fertility is also clustered, India is moving from limiting to delaying and spacing for wider health benefits," Nadda said.
The Union Health Minister said this while addressing 'India marches towards FP 2020: a meeting of the India Caucus' at the International Conference of Family Planning at Bali, Indonesia.
He said India has achieved more than 65 per cent reduction in maternal mortality from 1990 to 2011-13 against the global achievement of 47 per cent during the same period.
"Family planning is just the first step on a long journey towards growth, equality and development. It works not just because smaller families can be healthier and wealthier but because empowering women is the key to growing economies and healthy open societies," he said.
He observed that India has been "consistently" making efforts towards improving health and reducing fertility for sustainable development ever since the world's first national program was launched by the country in 1952.
The Minister said India formulated its National Population Policy in 2000 which lays emphasis on reducing the unmet needs for family planning, improvement of health care infrastructure and attaining population stabilisation by the year 2045.