To­wards bet­ter re­pro­duc­tive health

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

Re­pro­duc­tive health plays an im­por­tant role in the pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try. It is usu­ally de­fined as a state of phys­i­cal, men­tal and so­cial well be­ing in all mat­ters re­lat­ing to the re­pro­duc­tive sys­tem at all the stages of life. Good re­pro­duc­tive health im­plies that peo­ple are able to sat­is­fy­ing and safe sex life which in­cludes ca­pa­bil­ity to r re­pro­duce and the free­dom to de­cide if, when and how often to do so. Men and women should be in­formed about and have ac­cess to safe, ef­fec­tive, af­ford­able and ac­cept­able meth­ods of fam­ily plan­ning of their choice and the right to ap­pro­pri­ate health care ser­vices that en­able women to safely go through preg­nancy and child birth. Re­searchers have par­tic­u­larly shown much in­ter­est on the re­pro­duc­tive health glob­ally on based on low and mid­dle in­come coun­tries.

In Bhutan the con­di­tions far bet­ter than its neigh­bor which is mainly due re­duc­tion in the poverty lev­els which has en­hanced liv­ing stan­dard of the Bhutanese pop­u­la­tion. Fur­ther a good pri­mary health care and a com­mit­ted group of ba­sic health work­ers has al­lowed 97% of the Bhutanese moth­ers to re­ceived an­te­na­tal care at least once which is far bet­ter than other neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. How­ever on the other hand only 77% of the preg­nant moth­ers avail the an­ten­nal care for four times. Rea­sons like lack of lit­er­acy and moth­ers from the poor­est back­ground are less likely to re­ceive the rec­om­mended four vis­its. As per the find­ing of the Na­tional Sta­tis­ti­cal Bureau on the re­pro­duc­tive health it is es­ti­mated that about 64% of the women liv­ing in the poor­est house­holds re­ported four or more an­ten­nal care com­pared to 92% among the rich­est house­holds. About 64% of the preg­nancy is at­tended by the skilled health work­ers with wide range of vari­a­tion in dif­fer­ent re­gions. The western re­gion has 79%, cen­tral with 58% and eastern with 49%.

In Bhutan about 15% of the women aged be­tween 20-24 does not have ed­u­ca­tion and 25% from this aged group are the poor­est. About 18% the women are likely to give birth be­fore the age of 18 as cpm­pared to the rich and ed­u­cated women.

Girls in the age group of 10-14 years are five times likely to die dur­ing the preg­nancy or child­birth than women aged 20-24. Girls aged 15-19 years are twice likely to die and ado­les­cent are less likely to use con­tra­cep­tive as com­pared to older women.

For these rea­sons an in­vest­ment in re­pro­duc­tive health will lead to safe mother hood and healthy pop­u­la­tion for which ed­u­ca­tion and im­prove eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is a must.

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