Birth control down in country, Birth rate up: Want new tide of campaign
The use of birth control methods in the country is decreasing. As a result, the birth rate has increased. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) analysis of the latest published data shows that the use of birth control methods in the country decreased by 2.3 percent in 2022 compared to 2021. This year, 63.3 percent of the country's 15 to 49-year-old women and men used birth control. But in 2021 it is 65.6 percent. And in 2020, the country's birth rate was 18.1 percent, which increased by 1.7 percent to 19.8 percent in 2022. This rise in birth rates and the decline in birth control use are of concern to public health experts. Many see the increase in sex and staying at home due to the lockdown during the corona pandemic. Some believe that the rising cost of birth control is also a factor in its declining use which increased the birth rate.
The statistical analysis also showed that reluctance to use birth control in the country is decreasing at a higher rate in rural than in urban areas. Among the 10 divisional districts, Rangpur has the most decrease. In 2018, the use of birth control method among men and women aged 15 to 49 years of the country was 63.1 percent. As a result, the use of birth control increased in the first three years of the last five years, but decreased in the next two years. This rate has decreased by 2.3 percent in the rural areas of the country in the last one year.
In 2018, the use of birth control in rural areas of the country was 62.4 percent. At the same time, its use in the city was 62.4 percent. The countrywide average was 63.1 percent. Over the next three years, the use of this method increased by an average of 2.5 percent in 2021. And the rural areas of the country are ahead of the cities which was hopeful. At that time, the use of birth control in the village was 65.7 percent. And the city had 65 percent. But within a year, in 2022, the use of birth control decreased by 2.3 percent. Its use in villages comes down to 62.9 percent. And in the city it is reduced to 64.3 percent. In just one year, it decreased by 0.7 percent in the city, but it became 2.8 percent in the village.
Division wise statistics show that Rangpur has the highest use of birth control. The rate is 69.2 percent. And the lowest in Khulna is 59.3 percent. Besides, 61.3 percent of men and women use birth control in Dhaka division.
As an inevitable consequence of the decline in the use of birth control, the birth rate in the country has also increased. The BBS survey shows that the country's birth rate is 18.1 percent in 2020, which has increased by 1.7 percent to 19.8 percent in 2022. In this case, it can be seen that the birth rate of the village has increased compared to the city. In 2022, the child birth rate in urban areas is 16.6 percent. And in rural areas this rate was 20.8 percent.
According to BBS statistics, 126 children were born in 2020 against every 1,000 fertile women aged 20 to 24 in the country. This number increased to 137 in 2022. For every thousand women aged 25 to 29, 109 children were born in 2020, which increased to 118 in 2022. On the other hand, 100,000 fertile women aged 30 to 34 gave birth to 63 children in 2020 which increased to 75 people in 2022.
In its latest publication, BBS says that people are moving away from traditional methods of birth control and adopting more modern methods. But even there, the usage rate has decreased by 2.3 percent in 2022 compared to 2021.
Birth control services include: oral contraceptives, condoms, long-acting injectables, intra-uterine devices (IUD) or copper T, implants, permanent methods, and emergency pills. According to experts, the rate of taking emergency pills has increased significantly in recent times. Moreover, with the increase in commodity prices, the price of important items of birth control system has increased several times. That may lead to decreased use of birth control.
The period when the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) conducted its census was also the global Corona period. Due to the lockdown, the family planning program came to a standstill. According to experts, due to the lockdown at the time of Corona, the uptake of birth control services further decreased. That is what caused this extra pregnancy. They fear the increase in population due to disruption of birth control programs. This situation has arisen due to the inability to collect birth control products during the general holidays to prevent the corona virus. As a result, it is understood that the increase in the birth rate in the country was also worrying due to the decrease in the use of birth control methods at the time of Corona.
However, the Assistant Director of the Department of Family Planning's Clinical Contraception Services Delivery Program regarding the decrease in the use of birth control. Md. Rafiqul Islam Talukder told Barta24 that the use of birth control has not actually decreased in that way. Family planning is now Bangladesh's role model. We have also received several awards at different times.
This Assistant Director of the family planning department also said, family planning is everyone's own choice, nothing is imposed on anyone here. He will take what he likes. Some are happy with condoms and some are with pills. One may be satisfied with the injection given to the person of choice. There is publicity that people get services from community clinics, NGOs, our various organizations in the village. He is getting service as he wants.
Public health expert Dr. Lelin Chowdhury told Barta24 that the use of spontaneous birth control methods among educated and conscious groups has increased somewhat. But the main target of the marginal population is a very high birth rate. It is important to expand their birth control program and provide low-cost or free birth control. Birth control usage is decreasing as the country's population increases. The population of our country of 54 to 55 thousand square miles is one of the most populous countries in the world. If more population increases then this pressure is not possible for the country. In order to save the country and the people of the country, at least the birth control system should be implemented strongly, people should be motivated to apply it.
About the increase in the cost of birth control, this public health expert said, people who will try to prevent hunger first will want to spend less money. Our proposal would be to withdraw the government's many unnecessary sector allocations and subsidies, and to rapidly distribute low-cost or free birth control to the marginalized population.
Asked if there is any deficiency behind the decrease in the use of this method, he said, we have noticed for several years, the activities of promoting birth control methods and motivating people are gradually decreasing which stops completely during corona. This initiative needs to be promoted with renewed vigor. Although there is no need for this campaign among the educated and conscious people, it is the marginalized people who are out of education and below the poverty line that needs to be enhanced. There is a need to start a new tide on this issue.