The small state of Himachal Pradesh has added another feather in its cap, by achieving the 'two children per couple' or total fertility rate (TFR) of two children per couple target set by the Union Government under National Population Policy, 2000.
According to the Central Health ministry, Himachal Pradesh now stands among the ten states who have achieved TFR. These include Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and three Union Territories (Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry).
What's more is that the hill state has achieved the target well before the deadline. "Although the deadline for the population control target is 2010 but we have achieved it a year ahead," said a government spokesman.
Health facilities for families in the state
According to the recently released report, more than 75 percent villages in HP have an access to a health sub center within a distance of three kms. 94.5 percent villages have access to Primary Health Center (PHC) within 10 kms with 70.8 percent among them having at least four beds.
Also, around 80 percent of the villages have sub-centers located in the government buildings and another 83.1 percent sub-centers have ANM.
With various government health programmes growing in the hill state, the quality of family planning services has also increased. The report states that almost 90 percent of the unmarried women feel that family life education, as well as the sex education, is very important.
Growing literacy and consistent efforts by the government take the credit
The factor that contributed to the adoption of a small family norm among families is the growing literacy levels among women.
The hill state's literacy percentage is much higher than the national average and the highest amongst the states after Kerala.
The report also said that 96 percent of the people were aware of the minimum marriageable age and 93.5 percent had heard of the HIV/AIDS.
For this significant achievement, the credit also goes to the efforts of the state government that ensured better health facilities and care for the people of Himachal Pradesh, provided at their door steps.
The state has laid out a network of more than 3800 health institutions for providing various health care services. To control the sex ratio and create awareness about the benefits of girl child, the government has launched a month long campaign titled 'Beti Anmol Hai'.
The top three priorities of the present government are health, education and roads. Around 250 allopathic doctors and 88 Ayurvedic doctors have already been appointed, with 87 more lined up in the queue, in the far flung areas of the State. 300 nurses have also been appointed besides filling up other medical staff posts.
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