Bengaluru: Most men in IT city still believe that contraception is not their responsibility and few couples maintain adequate spacing of three years among children, lament health experts.
“Despite the accessibility, the use is low in the IT hub and the state. The mindset in the city continues to be conservative and male participation in family planning is very low. Men do not co-operate with their wives by wearing condoms and that mindset needs to change,” says Dr N, Rajkumar, Research Officer, Deputy Director of Family Planning and Maternal health, State health and family welfare. We are trying to move people from permanent contraceptive methods to birth spacing, he added.
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), the usage of condoms in the country was 3.7 per cent. Other birth control methods such as intra-uterine devices (IUDs), post-placental intrauterine device (PPIUCD), oral pills and male sterilisation also had very few takers.
Though the city fares better with six per cent usage of condoms, and much above the state usage of 2.2 per cent, experts point out birth spacing continues to be a neglected area.
“There are options but people need to be aware of family planning methods,” said Dr Rajkumar, who adds that they even have issued advertisements asking the public to use condoms instead of going for vasectomy.
“Many couples resort to intercourse during the ‘safe period’, which is risky and not foolproof," he added.
Sadly, in Karnataka, less than 30 per cent of the births have the adequate spacing of three years. “Adequate spacing is extremely important for the quality of the family and the quality of life. To get the spacing right we are increasing the choices for family planning methods for the couples. We are trying to ensure compliance of various methods by providing them more choices,” Dr Rajkumar added.
Karnataka is one of ten States, where new contraceptive called Antara, which can be injected, has been introduced as part of the Union Government’s National Family Welfare Programme.
“In a week’s time, we would be able to start the programme at all district headquarters. Since the unmet need for spacing is more in the urban areas so we will focus on the areas which have more urban masses including Bengaluru Urban, Belagavi. After this, we will escalate it to the rural parts as well,” he said....