Mumbai : Prior to World Population Day observed on July 11 every year, the Maharashtra government will make injectable contraceptives for women available at public hospitals for free.

BMC, in association with the Centre and the Maharashtra government, will launch a new family planning programme, ‘Antara,’ to mark World Population Day.

The new injectable contraceptive, called ‘Antara’, which is a part of the Centre’s National Family Welfare Programme, would be unveiled on July 10.

The programme is aimed at bringing down the fulfilled need of contraception in the community, to increase the use of contraceptives and the couple protection rate. “The main objective of adding the additional methods of contraception under the National Family Welfare Programme, is to bring down the maternal deaths, abortion-related maternal deaths, maternal morbidity and the neonatal morbidity and mortality,” said a health officer.

The executive health officer of the civic body said these pills were already available in the private healthcare system but now will be included in the public sector too. “It should be injected once every three months and is safe for breastfeeding. It does not have any side effects. The purpose behind the initiative is to make more options of contraception available,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer.

She added that under the ‘Antara’ programme, staff of the civic health department will be trained how to convince couples who did not adopt any family planning method or use contraceptives and bring them under temporary and permanent methods.

A senior official said there are lots of benefits in the new “injectable” contraceptive pill which will also be available as an additional temporary method of contraceptive. “Antara is a long-term, reversible, highly effective temporary method of contraception,” said a health officer.

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