The total number of family planning acceptors in the country has increased by 3.5 per cent between 2010 and 2011.

Latest official statistics have shown that condom is the most preferred method of family planning while sterilisations the least adopted means.

The comparative figures between April and September 2010 and 2011 put the number of couples adopting some method for family planning, including spacing methods, is close to 24 million, with at least 15 million preferring condoms to any other means.

Only about 2 million people have undergone sterilisation.

Condom use is followed by oral pill user — though the number in this case has come down to just over 5 million in 2011 — and then IUD (intrauterine device) insertions by women.

According to the figures available with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the highest jump of about 10 per cent (comparative figures) has been in the number of condom users while an equal quantum of decline has been noted in oral pill users.

Sterilisations have remained more or less the same with a marginal decline of 1.2 per cent.

Vasectomy

Of the total sterilisations conducted, vasectomy (male sterilisation) comprised only 4.2 per cent. Only Sikkim had 35 per cent men undergoing vasectomy while in the neighbouring Mizoram and Nagaland no vasectomy seems to have been done and in Arunachal Pradesh just three.

Bihar's record

But what is surprising is that Bihar has shown an unbelievable jump of 92 per cent between 2010 and 2011 in sterilisations, 61 per cent in IUD users, 49 per cent in condom users and 71 per cent in oral pill users. Compare this with Jharkhand, which has shown an overall decline in all methods used for family planning.

Karnataka too has shown an all-round decline as also Tamil Nadu, except sterilisations, which has shown a 6 per cent increase.

Densely populated Uttar Pradesh has indicated a 3.7 per cent increase in sterilisation figures, 12.7 per cent jump in IUD insertions, 17 and 18 per cent hike in condom use and oral pill use respectively.

Considering the number of unsterilised couples as the base for family planning methods, the performance in sterilisations per 10,000 unsterilised couples exposed to higher order of birth (3 and above), Tamil Nadu has shown the best performance at 1,834 sterilisations followed by Karnataka (1,197), Kerala (1,101), Maharashtra (857), Gujarat (510), Punjab (501), Haryana (4170) and Madhya Pradesh (342).

The achievement in all States is lower than the all India average of 315 sterilisations per 10,000 unsterilised couples.

At the national level, the number of IUD insertions during April-September 2011 has shown an increase of 5.1 per cent against the same period previous year.

Among the States showing increase in performance are Bihar, Assam, Orissa, West Bengal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat while usage has gone down in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Few takers

But rather strangely, there are fewer takers of free condoms distributed by the government whereas the quantum of condoms sold by the commercial companies increased by 32.7 per cent. The number of takers of free condoms increased in Rajsathan (though it was less compared to the previous year), Punjab and Haryana. Rajasthan has the largest number of oral pill users, followed by West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

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