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Family planning to be prioritised

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Family Health Division (FHD) at the Ministry of Health and Population is working on a concept of satellite clinic and area-specific micro-planning at the community level to meet the unmet demand for family planning among excluded communities.

Dr Sinendra Raj Upreti, director of FDH said they are identifying the disadvantaged, marginalised and excluded communities, especially migrant workers, people living with HIV and economically weak people to make family planning services easily accessible.

The division plans to target specific communities and implement the programme at the community level.

According to Upreti, the satellite clinic camp will be one of the best opportunities for those communities where the demand for family planning is still unmet.

Unmet family planning need is defined as the percentage of married women who want to space their next birth or stop childbearing entirely but are not using contraception.

Satellite clinics are health care facilities operated with the support of a larger health institution at a fixed place and date on a regular basis, he said. The government is operating the clinic to make optimum use of human resources from minimum allocated budget to provide family planning services on a large scale.

Despite Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS-2011) indication that more than 99 per cent of women aged 15-49 are aware of at least one modern family planning method, the unmet demand is lstill high.

Lack of information, unacceptability of contraception, opposition from husband to contraceptive use or perceived costs, fear of side effects, and inadequate family planning service are major reasons behind unmet demand, Upreti said.

According to NDHS survey, 27 per cent of married women have an unmet need for family planning — 10 per cent for spacing and 17 per cent for limiting children.

The unmet need in rural areas is higher than in urban areas and is highest among the youngest group of women (aged 15-19 years). The survey indicated that the western hills have the highest unmet need (36 per cent) followed by mid-western hills (21 per cent).

The satellite clinic programme was introduced in the year 2010/11 with a budget of 22 lakhs. The division had increased budget to 60 lakhs for its operation nationwide in the fiscal year 2011/12.The satellite clinic camps will be conducted three times a year.

The government provides 69 per cent contraceptives. It also provides male sterilisation, more than two-thirds of injectables and implants and about 50 per cent of pills.

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