by The Welthi Bureau
Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India talks about universal access to family planning and working within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals.
World Health Day 2018 calls for a reaffirmation of the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for everyone, everywhere. Rather than a wishful ideal, investment in UHC is in fact a prerequisite for any country to achieve its long-term development goals. India’s National Health Policy of 2017 commits to progressively achieving Universal Health Coverage within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the occasion of World Health Day, we at Population Foundation of India call for universal access to family planning under the umbrella of UHC, so that women and men are equipped to effectively plan their families. Better access to contraception and improvement in reproductive health services would reduce maternal and infant mortality and lower overall healthcare costs. It would help in keeping more girls in schools, thereby facilitating the entry of more women into the workforce.
A study by Population Foundation of India projects that investing in family planning will result in cumulative savings of Rs. 27,000 crores in total budgetary allocations for health over a 15-year period from 2016 – 2031. It also projects a 13 percent gain in per capita income between 2026 and 2031 as a result of a healthier workforce, improved productivity and higher economic growth.
Providing universal access to health care services should not be considered a subsidy burden on the country. We need higher investments today, in order to ensure equal access to health services for the underserved, especially the poor, women and girls. And we need a strong regulatory framework and effective community participation to have any real impact on our health and development outcomes.
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