“Let us work towards not losing any pregnant woman and child to preventable causes”. This was stated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare atthe inauguration of National Workshop on International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)@ 25 years – Leveraging Partnerships’ on the occasion of World Population Day 2019 that also marks the 25 years since the landmark ICPD held at Cairo in 1994, here today. Dr Harsh Vardhan further said that the country, under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, shall witness a New India by 2022 where health is a positive determinant of development. “The Government is committed to addressing the health issues, improving the scale and ensuring accessibility of quality services for everyone,” he added. Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare was also present at the function.
Highlighting the importance of the World Population Day, Dr Harsh Vardhan further said that population stabilisation is a crucial determinant of quality of life and achievement of universal health coverage goals. “We need to position health as a component of all public policies. The occasion also provides a valuable and potent platform to discuss issues related to gender equality, maternal and child health, human rights, poverty and other development determinants”, he added. He stated that the Polio eradication campaign has also taught us that seemingly difficult things can be made successful with involvement of the society. “We have experience of the success stories and learnings from our challenges. We need to leverage on this knowledge and resources to achieve what we have set out for,” he stated. The Union Health Minister added that this year’s budget for the Health Ministry reflects the importance accorded to the health sector in the country with an increase of almost 19% in the total outlay. The flagship programme, Ayushman Bharat has seen an increase of 154.87% which covers the two pillars of Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and PMJAY, he said.
In his address, Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed to the NGOs and civil society organisations to devoteatleast one month every year towards the cause of population stabilisation.“Bringing an end to preventable child and maternal deaths, improving the health of our mothers and children cannot be achieved by working alone. Governments, development partners, civil society, private and corporate sector, community leaders and the media, all have critical roles to play if we have to engineer the social change needed to achieve these goals,” he said.
At the function, the Union Health Minister also launched the new awareness campaign on Family Planning of the Health Ministry. Noting the importance of information and communication, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “the most effective way of achieving a health target is imparting good quality information and knowledge consistently to people and supplementing it with motivation.”
Speaking at the function, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare stressed on the need for generating awareness about family planning and population stabilisation. He stated that population and health form the crux of the development process of any nation and Family Planning acts as a very crucial determinant. “The perks of family planning are not just limited to population stabilisation; rather it is one of the major contributors in ensuring good health for women, families and communities,” Shri Choubey said.
The World Population Day 2019 marks 25 years since the landmark International Conference on Population & Development (ICPD), held at Cairo in 1994. This event marked a paradigm shift from earlier policies to one that places the individual at the centre, and respects choice, rights and empowerment. The 25th anniversary of the ICPD is an opportune moment for the global community to reflect on the progress made in advancing the agenda of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and address the remaining challenges.
The Government of India has increased focus on spacing at birth to achieve improved maternal and child health outcomes. Keeping this in mind, new communication/IEC material were designed this year and launched today, focusing on improving the uptake of spacing methods by addressing myths and misconceptions prevailing around these methods and reviving the category of oral contraceptive pills and improving the uptake of Condoms and Inject able Contraceptives.
Also present at the function were Dr.SVenkatesh, Director General of Health Services, Shri Sanjeeva Kumar, AS & DG (CGHS),AS (Health), Shri Manoj Jhalani, Additional Secretary & Mission Director (NHM), and Dr. Manohar Agnani, Joint Secretaryalong with other senior officers of the Ministry and representatives of development partners.