The Telegraph e-Paper
The Telegraph
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Birth rate alarm

The state government has been trying to rein in Bihar’s high total fertility rate (TFR) through a variety of measures, the effectiveness has not yet been ascertained.

According to the last report published by the health ministry in 2012, Bihar’s TFR clocks the highest in the country at 3.9 against the national average of 2.6. The rate suggests the average number of children expected to be born from a woman during the span of her reproductive period.

Patna and Motihari top the list where girls are married before marriageable age of 18, one of the major factors contributing to the high TFR. Going by the rate of population growth, Bihar’s population is expected to double by 2051.

The state government signed an agreement with Jhpiego, a US pioneer in healthcare services and development of human capacity worldwide.

State Health Society, Bihar, executive director-cum-health secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “According to the agreement, Jhpiego provides technical assistance to the state government on postpartum family planning. Under it, several activities have been conducted for successful implementation of the project.” The society is the nodal organisation for the execution of the project.

He said the project activities done so far include training of doctors and nurses in the government medical colleges for competency-based postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device insertions.

“The state government has also signed an MoU with Unicef and Population Council of India to reduce the state’s population rate,” said the health secretary.