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Janani, an affiliate of DKT International, has started a mobile family planning project. Twenty outreach teams in vans provide family planning services to rural and hard-to-reach areas in India. This helps expand access to family planning options.

The vans specifically visit regions where family planning is unavailable and where birth rates are exceptionally high, like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. According to the last India National Family Health Survey in 2005-2006, the average birth rate in Bihar was 4.0 children and the average birth rate in Uttar Pradesh was 3.82 children. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have the highest and second highest birth rates in all of India. Even so, the mobile family planning project can help women postpone or eliminate the option of pregnancy.

Janani offers IUDs, tubal litigation, condoms, oral contraceptives, injectables and emergency contraceptives for women. Additionally, the project offers non-scalpel vasectomies for men. This project helps promote long-term contraceptives, like the IUD, and permanent methods, like tubal litigation and vasectomies.

Doctors, nurses/midwives, van coordinators, attendants and drivers all make up each team. About four to nine people are in each van to serve Indian communities. The vans have a counseling chamber, audio-visual equipment and medicines and equipment needed for IUD insertion. The nurse/midwives are trained for counseling and IUD insertion in Patna at the Surya Clinic and Training Centre, which is owned by Janani.

The teams in each van serve around 10 to 15 new clients and about five to eight follow-up clients per day. Each team also makes up to 15 days of visits per month. Janani serves between 2,000 and 3,000 new clients and 1,000 and 1,500 follow-up clients each month. While it is important to care for new clients, it is also beneficial to conduct follow-up appointments with previous clients.

Janani aims to help women and men in rural and low-income areas. Improved access to family planning can help individuals who do not want to have children. Additionally, this could help keep more children out of poverty, considering that women may not want to have children if they are in a low-income household. Furthermore, this could help address the issue of overpopulation in India. Solutions such as mobile family planning are innovative and reach individuals who previously may not have access to family planning options.

Ella Cady

Sources: DKT International, Impatient Optimists
Photo: Impatient Optimists