CHANDIGARH: Across the globe, July 11 is celebrated as Population Day in order to create awareness among the general public about the ill effects of growing population and the burden that it adds to the natural resources , said Balbir Singh Sidhu , Health and Family Welfare Minister Punjab while addressing people during the State Level Celebrations held at Kisan Chamber Mohali to mark the World Population Day.

Kicking off the Population Stabilization fortnight in the State, Health Minister informed that Population Day celebrations have been divided into two fortnights. The first fortnight falling between June 27 to July10 was celebrated as the Awareness and Mobilization fortnight wherein the primary focus was on encouraging people to use family planning methods and informing them about the array of contraception methods available. The second fortnight kicked off on July 11 focuses on Population Stabilization. During the coming two weeks special Camps would be organised in government health institutions state-wide to provide family planning/sterilisation services to the persons who have pre-registered themselves in the Awareness fortnight. Free of cost tubectomy and vasectomy operations will be performed.

Mr. Sidhu informed that along with population stabilisation through reduction in Total Fertility Rate(TFR), the Family Planning Programs in the State have been re-oriented to promote reproductive health. “Thrust is on promoting institutional deliveries to reduce Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate(IMR)”, said he. He also informed that TFR in Punjab is 1.7% which is at par with Kerala, the state known for high literacy rate. Whereas, the National TFR is 2.2%, he added.

The Punjabis by and large are aware of the importance of a small family but pressure of migratory population is immense and we are trying to generate maximum awareness among them.

On the occasion, the Health Minister released an awareness audio spot for dissemination of importance of family planning via radio spots and other IEC activities.

Principal Secretary Health, Mr Hussan Lal informed that employees/health workers from 150 different locations had virtually joined the Population day celebrations. He said that it is a matter of extreme pride that despite pandemic the Family Planning Services were carried out unabated and the government hospitals were instrumental in safe deliveries many COVID positive pregnant ladies. He assured extensive IEC/BCC activities to deliver Family Planning messages for the betterment of the society.

Apprising about the preparedness for the probable third wave of COVID19, Mr Hussan Lal said that the Health department is fully prepared for handling third wave . “We have enhanced 25 percent bed capacity, have commissioned more than 75 PSA plants and 9000 oxygen concentrators have been supplied to the hospitals in Punjab, ” said he.

Earlier, Director Health Services (Family Welfare) Punjab Dr. Andesh Kang welcomed the guests and apprised of the activities being undertaken to mark the World Population Day.

Dr. GB Singh, Director Health stressed upon the importance of Population Stabilisation in wake of extreme pressure on Natural Resources.

Dr. Aarti , State Nodal Officer for Family Planning presented a PPT showcasing the initiatives being undertaken at the field level and the incentives and services being provided under Family Planning Program in the State,

During this program, the best performing districts under family planning were honoured. Dr. Hardeep Kaur from CHC Khiala Kalan (Mansa) stood first in carrying out Female Sterilization, Dr. Milan Verma from CH Ludhiana was adjudged Best NSV Provider, Dr. Ashwani Kumar from DH Amritsar came first in Mini Lap. Dr. Isha Gupta from CH Barnala stood first in PPIUCD provider category, Sandeep Kaur, staff nurse from CH Barnala was awarded as best staff nurse, Sheetal from CH Ludhiana was selected as best ASHA, Devinder Kaur from CH Ludhiana was best ANM, Sukhwinder from CH Sangrur best MPHW (Male), Amarjeet from CH Jalandhar best MPHW (female).

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