July 11th, 2017
Maharashtra has become the first state among the four that have been chosen by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as a part of the pilot project of introducing injectable contraceptives for women, reports The Indian Express.
Commemorating the World Population Day, the Maharashtra government announced Antara – a national scheme that would have Pune, Mumbai, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri, and Beed under its aegis. The state public health department has procured 33,000 doses of injections for this programme.
Antara would be launched in 23 district hospitals, 20 medical colleges and 12 women’s hospitals. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai has procured 10,000 injection doses for all its maternity homes and public hospitals.
The new method of contraception is called Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA) – an addition to the existing contraception measures for women viz. intrauterine devices, pills, and permanent sterilisation procedure or tubectomy. The private healthcare facilities have been making use of MPA for some time now.
The injection needs to be used within a week from the time the menstrual cycle starts for a woman. It would deter pregnancy for three months; conception would be possible seven months after the contraception is stopped.
The injection would be given intramuscularly to women between 18-45 years. This would also entail a list of side effects including scanty bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, and amenorrhea, which is the absence of menstruation. Once this injection has been administered, the side effects experienced by the woman cannot be taken away from her – this is one of the major drawbacks of the contraceptive measure. It is also essential to keep in mind that MPA needs to be used judiciously or it might end up creating health issues, according to experts in this field.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Archana Patil, Maharashtra’s joint director for family planning, said, “If spacing programme is properly implemented, 30 percent of maternal deaths and 10 percent child deaths can be prevented in the state. We need to create awareness on keeping a gap between two children for a healthy mother.” She added that neighbouring countries of India have already introduced by MPA.
Highlighting on the need to emphasise on teen pregnancies and multiple pregnancies in both urban and rural areas, Health Minister Deepak Sawant opined that it is essential to create awareness programs for male sterilisation programs as well.
The Logical Indian community appreciates this progressive move by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It is an addition to the existing contraceptive measures for women and gives them further alternatives.