Bhubaneswar: Odisha has made a visible progress in eliminating preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence, child marriage and use of contraceptives suggested data presented at a consultation on sexual reproductive health and rights organised by United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
As per statistics, the number of pregnant women in Odisha going for three or more Ante Natal Checkup (ANC) doubled between 1991-92 and 2015-16. “While Institutional Deliveries increased by 5 folds in Odisha, Maternal Mortality Ratio reduced by more than half,” shared UNPFA State Programme Coordinator Dr Deepa Prasad.
“Many women today have better lives than their mothers and can hope for even more for their daughters. But unfortunately, these gains have not been experienced equally by all,” said Prasad while addressing an audience of adolescents, LGBT, persons with disability and representatives from civil society organisations urging them to work with ambition and commitment to meet the unfinished goals.
Similarly, the number of girls marrying before the age of 18 years and cases of adolescent pregnancy has reduced by half during the same period said UNPFA State Program Officer Kumar Manish.
Speaking on the occasion, Programme Officer of OXFAM India, Bimal Prasad Pandia, shared how the sexual reproductive health requirements increase during disasters.
Director of Department of Health and Family Welfare, Samir Kumar Das, said that many women in Odisha still struggle with challenges with choice and consent over family planning and family expectations around marriage and child bearing.
The consultation was organised to discuss 25 years ICPD which stands for the International Conference on Population and Development, a 1994 meeting in Cairo where 179 governments adopted a revolutionary Programme of Action and called for women’s reproductive health and rights to take centre stage in national and global development efforts.