Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today digitally addressed a high-level virtual event titled “Family Planning 2020: Celebrating Progress, Transforming for the future”, through Video Conference. The purpose of this event was to celebrate the FP-2020 partnership, the release of the Annual Progress Report for 2019-2020, and kick off the commitment process for the next phase of the partnership.At the outset, Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed his gratitude to be part of this momentous event celebrating the crucial Family Planning 2020 partnership and reminded the audience that India has always valued its membership of the Family Planning 2020 partnership. He also lauded the invaluable efforts made by the alliance to strengthen family planning services across the world.Speaking on India’s commitment to Family Planning, he said, “Today marks the 72nd Republic Day of my beloved motherland, India. What also makes me proud is that India was one of the first countries in the world to formulate a National Family Planning Program way back in 1952. This program was later expanded to cover maternal and child health as well as adolescent health and nutrition. Since then, India has made significant progress in ensuring healthier lives for its citizens.”Lauding the alliance for adding great zeal to India’s efforts by helping in the creation of synergy between various endeavours in the space of family planning, he observed, “The partnership has played a fundamental role in facilitating exchange of knowledge among member states about latest contraceptives as well as best practices being followed to accelerate adoption of family planning services by the general population.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan underscored the importance of the FP partnership in helping India fulfil its objectives in Family Planning. India achieved its Family Planning 2020 goal for improving contraceptive access in the country with adoption of modern contraceptive use having reached an estimated 55%; the country surpassed its commitment of investing more than 3 billion US Dollars by 2020 for strengthening Family Planning services; the basket of contraceptives has been greatly enhanced with the addition of injectables and the drug ‘Centchroman’ with around 4 million doses of Injectable contraceptive having been administered cumulatively till now; more than 10 million pregnant women are also benefitting from Post-partum Intra-uterine contraceptive device.Summing up India’s achievements, he noted, “Improving the quality of contraceptives, augmenting contraceptive demand through comprehensive IEC campaigns, and focused interventions in high fertility districts through Mission Parivar Vikas, have been few of the country’s notable achievements. As a result, we have witnessed an impressive decline in fertility and maternal mortality in the last few years. We continue to strive to substantially reduce the unmet need for contraception by 2030.”On India’s proposed contribution to the next phase of Family Planning Partnership, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated: “we realize that advancing collaborations, adopting a more focused approach, and addressing the needs of young population will be of prime importance. India remains committed towards this global agenda. The overall aim thus, is to plan and implement this refurbished approach with the vision that every child is wanted, every birth is safe, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity.”Dr. Harsh Vardhan ended his address by thanking all members for their continued support and active engagement with this alliance.