Indians now use birth control pills, condoms more: Family health survey

A mother with her child
The use of contraceptive pills and condoms has risen in India even as there has been a decline in adopting overall family planning methods, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data. Between the previous survey, 10 years ago, and now, among the people surveyed, the use of pills has risen to 4.1 per cent from 3.1 per cent, and that of condoms to 5.6 per cent from 5.2 per cent.

The rise in the use of pills has taken place despite the fact that 46.5 per cent of the users were told about the side-effects of modern methods, up from 34.4 per cent in the earlier findings. The use of IUD (intrauterine device) and PPIUD (postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device) also declined to 1.5 per cent from 1.7 per cent.

However, overall family planning methods declined to 53.5 per cent in its survey for 2015-16 from 56.3 per cent in the previous one. India’s population grew by 17.7 per cent between 2001 and 2011, and a part of this period falls in the interval between the two family health surveys. 

The survey also shows a high participation of public health facilities in immunisation, with 90.7 per cent of the vaccinations provided there and 7.2 per cent by private health institutions. This also shows an increase over the previous survey, according to which 82 per cent of the vaccinations were done in public health institutions. This study also shows in rural India most vaccinations were done in public health facilities, and only 3.4 per cent in private health centres. 

In urban areas 82 per cent of the vaccinations were administered in public health centres and 16.7 per cent in private healthcare centres. The central government provides free immunisation at public health facilities under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). In addition to vaccines, syringes of different capacities are procured centrally and supplied to the states.

A researcher involved in preparing the report said these numbers showed accessibility to private health care facilities, especially in vaccination, was a problem.

The report also talks about rising child immunisation. Sixty-two per cent of children are immunised now, up from 43.5 per cent a decade ago. These include children who have been given the vaccine for tuberculosis, measles, three doses of polio immunisation, and diphtheria. All these vaccines need to be administered to children below two years. The incidence of tuberculosis in India for 2015 was at 217 per 100,000 people.

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