Towards better reproductive health
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.