India has demanding and very diverse reproductive health requirements. Sustainable health development through systematic interventions, especially to the marginal and underserved population has been the key to FPA India's relentless work in 2011.
The focus of FPA India in this period has been on the following areas:
- Family Planning
- Expansion of contraceptive choices
- Safe abortions
- Putting an end to child marriages
- Reducing maternal mortality
- Ensuring access to reproductive health
- Inclusion of all encompassing sexual education in schools
- Implementing policy issues in changing socio-economic scenario
FPA India has reached out to important and strategic allies including women's groups, development groups, health workers' associations, enforcement authorities, influential people at the community level. Equally, FPA India has strengthened the linkages with grassroots level organisations. Throughout 2011, FPA India has organised advocacy activities for key sectoral partners and stakeholders.
Advocating Reproductive Choices
Factsheets on EC, NSV and injectable contraceptives were developed. The injectable factsheet was presented to the Honourable Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, at the FOGSI conference in Hyderabad.
Six messages, as an insert in the Emergency Contraceptive pill packet was handed over to the Assistant Commissioner (Family Planning) in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of Madhya Pradesh had invited FPA India - ARC to be part of the team to Expand Contraceptive Choices by introducing Injectable contraceptives in the Family
Welfare Programme. FPA India has been supported under the USAID PROGRESS grant to strengthen the coalition, create a succession plan and undertake advocacy efforts to create a favorable environment in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand as part of ARC.
Six messages, as an insert in the Emergency Contraceptive pill packet was handed over to the Assistant Commissioner (Family Planning) in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of Madhya Pradesh had invited FPA India - ARC to be part of the team to Expand Contraceptive Choices by introducing Injectable contraceptives in the Family Welfare Programme.
The specific objectives for this project are:
Five state level Chapters (Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh) were launched. At State level it has 122 organizations which include representation from the District level. The ARC members were capacitated in undertaking advocacy initiatives; augmented and initiated advocacy process in the focused states to address state specific issues related to contraception. There are thirty six national and international organizations working in the field of sexual and reproductive health at the National level.
Events on the theme Supporting Vulnerable People through the Global Economic Downturn were undertaken:
Reviewed the national policies, technical protocol/ guidelines, budgetary documents, and current government programmes to identify gaps and constrains in the implementation of MDGs. This was disseminated among policy makers and the stakeholders.
Developed strategy for civil society involvement in policy review process Advocacy meetings were conducted with government to follow-up on implementation of the recommendations. Capacity building was undertaken of FPA India's branches/ projects in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhnad and partners on advocacy planning. Advocacy meetings with NGO coalitions were organized. Advocacy dissemination workshops were conducted to share tools and lessons learnt among other stakeholders in the region.
Identification of and sensitization of champions for SRH. Capacity building of youth volunteers on the monitoring tools was carried out as well as with parliamentarians/state legislators on the importance of MDGs.
This was followed by interactions with government officials to further sensitize them on the barriers to accessing reproductive health services and the need for appropriate information education and communication material. Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of the State Legislatures (MLA and MLC) were sensitized on MDGs, and sexual rights, and the need to overcome the barriers in order to achieve the state MDGs. This project helped in building partnerships between NGOs and developed political will. Many MP, MLAs and MLCs are ready to provide support on SRHR.
Advocating MDG 5
Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Nagaland, Bangalore and Jaipur Branches organised advocacy events through a project "Building Momentum for Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV Integration in India". Through various events they advocated for integration of SRH and HIV in policies for increased SRH programmes and services and to increase access to a range of information and services that can reduce unsafe sexual behaviors, and reduce sexually transmitted infections. These include HIV, reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, reduction of mother to child transmission of HIV by reducing unintended pregnancies.
Country Team Formation
A nine member multi-sectoral country team was constituted. The team includes representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, National AIDS Control Organization (NACO); members from Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) India, and youth representatives. A letter was sent to the NACO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, CCM and other organizations.