Notes on the administration of family welfare programme in India

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A separate Department of Family Welfare was created in 1966, in the Central Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Secretary to the Government of India, in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is in overall charge of the Department of Family Welfare. He is assisted by Special Secretary and Joint Secretaries. There is also an Advisor (Mass Media and Communi­cation). There is also a Central Family Welfare Council consisting of all state Health Ministers to review the implementation of the programme. In addition there is a Population Advisory Council which is headed by Union Health Minister, Members of Parliament and eminent people in the field of population control.

At the State level

At the state level, there is State Family Welfare Bureau. It is a part of State Health and Family Welfare Directorate. Also, there is a State Family Welfare Cell which co – ordinates the family welfare activities between the state and central governments.

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At the District level

In the districts, there is a District Family Welfare Bureau. It consists of three divisions:

Administrative division headed by District Family Welfare Officer.

Mass education and media division in charge of District Mass Education and Media Officer.

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3. Evaluation division in charge of Statistical officer.

At the Primary Health Centre (PHC)

There is a Rural Family Welfare Centre with a Medical Officer and supporting staff. Services like sterilization and IUD insertion are provided at the PHC

Subentries: They are under the control of PHC’s. Each sub Centre has one male and female health worker. They provide motivation for family planning and also supply contraceptives.

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At the village level: There are Village Health Guides and Trained dais.

Village Health Guides: They are mostly women, one for each village or a population of 1000. They provide motivation for family planning and also supply oral pills and Nimrod.

Trained dais: They are local birth attendants (females) who are trained for conducting deliveries. They are also taught basic infor­mation about family planning. There is one trained day for 1000 population. They act as family planning counselors and motivators.

ROLE OF HEALTH EDUCATION IN FAMILY PLANNING_

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1. It can create an awareness in the community regarding the availability of various family planning services.

2. It can produce a positive attitude to family planning by motivating eligible couples to adopt the small family norm.

3. It allays fears and removes misconnects about family planning.

4. It ensures that people utilize family planning programs optimally.

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5. Health education efforts are directed at conducting orientation camps. These camps can motivate local leaders to

undertake activities at gross roots. So it can be made a movement of the people, by the people and for the people.

6. Health education also involves mass communication programs through modern media (radio, TV and cinema) and cultural media (folk songs, puppet shows etc.).

Role of pharmacist in family planning

Pharmacists work in various capacities throughout the country in most of the villages and towns. In most cases, pharmacists serve as a link between the public and the doctors. So it is likely that pharmacists come across a number of people with their own beliefs about family planning. The illiterate or less educated people are not aware of the benefits and also the ease of family planning. Most of them have a psychic fear that sterilization is painful, dangerous and harmful to health. The pharmacist has a vital role to play in dispel­ling such fears.

Pharmacists can promote family planning by:

1. Displaying family planning posters in hospitals and drug stores.

2. Advising people about the importance of family planning, spacing of children etc.

3. By distributing pamphlets about family planning.

4. Explaining about oral contraceptives and family planning techniques.

5. Guiding people to hospitals and family planning carters for vasectomy or tubectomy.

Thus pharmacists can provide information, advice and motivation for family planning.

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