Five months after chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation met and promised to initiate more development activities in Uttar Pradesh, the gove

Family planning is a human right. Yet today some 222 million women in developing countries are unable to exercise that right because they lack access to contraceptives, information and quality services or because social and economic forces prevent them from taking advantage of services even where they are available.

To meet the growing demand for institutional deliveries, the government has enhanced the bed capacity of public health facilities exclusively for mother and child care by a whopping 20,000 beds.

To be implemented under the Reproductive and Child Health scheme, the increase in the bed numbers will benefit 10 States that have bad health indicators but a heavy patient load for institutional deliveries. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has set a target of two to two-and-half years for the additional infrastructure to become functional.

Pune : Eighteen weeks pregnant, she had two weeks left to have a legal abortion. Yet every private hospital in Pune turned her away, with gynaecologists afraid to touch her.

New Delhi: India aims to meet the much-awaited goal of reaching the total fertility rate (TFR) — the average number of children born to a woman — to 2.1% by the end of 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17)

With India accounting for 1.21 billion people, a call for taking concerted action to stabilise the country’s population was made here on Wednesday on the occasion of World Population Day.

A Conference on ‘Population Action: Towards a Better Tomorrow’ was organised at Vigyan Bhavan which mooted repositioning family planning, especially in high-priority States, increasing participation from politicians and other ministries, increasing visibility around population stabilisation and also generating more awareness on family planning.

Rich nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said they had pledged more than 2.6 billion dollars towards family planning in developing countries at a summit in London on Wednesday.

The aim of the summit was to secure new funding pledges to give an additional 120 million women and girls access to contraception by 2020. "We exceeded our target," British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell told the summit, which drew more than 150 leaders from donor and developing countries, international agencies and the private sector.

After the scheme to provide door-to-door contraceptives showed encouraging results, the government has now decided to rope in Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) to motivate couples delay having children.

With an aim to lay emphasis on spacing rather than limiting, the health ministry has decided to utilise its 8 lakh 60 thousand Ashas for counselling newly-married couples to ensure spacing of two years after marriage and couples with one child to have spacing of three years after the birth of first child.

India is likely to miss the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) related to maternal health as one maternal death is being reported every 10 minutes in the country now.

India recorded around 57,000 maternal deaths in 2010, which translate into a whopping six every hour and one every 10 minutes, UN data in this regard says.

Forty-five days after she gave birth to an underweight girl with severe health complications, the mother threw her from the KEM hospital building in October 2010.

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