USAID moots novel project to support family planning, reproductive health decisions of Indian youth

November 14, 2021 0 By Team FM

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) under its  Momentum Country and Global Leadership mechanism, has announced a new initiative for India to engage adolescents and youth in decisions about their reproductive health and wellbeing. 

This four-year project — MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash — will focus on family planning (FP) and reproductive health (RH) for young people and contribute to the achievement of India’s national family planning goals. It will also support the FP/RH needs of India’s marginalized youth in urban and rural areas of Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. 

USAID MOMENTUM program works with governments, civil and private sectors, and other key partners to improve access to family planning and reproductive health services and make high-quality health care available to mothers and children so they can live healthy, productive lives.

In India’s population, about 27.5 percent are young people aged 15–29 years at present and, according to the National Youth policy 2014, this segment  contributes about 34 percent of India’s gross national income. However, this cohort of adolescents is still underserved when it comes to their sexual and RH needs,despite the Sustainable Development Goals for universal access to sexual and RH care services, including family planning, by 2030.

“We are confident that the Yash program will play a crucial role in the achievement of socioeconomic and environment development goals for sustainable development. At the same time, it is also pertinent to strengthen the strategic partnerships, foster multi- sectoral stakeholder involvement, encourage innovation, mobilize community, and engage actively with the private sector for widespread reach and success of the program,” said Dr. S.K Sikdar, Advisor, FP & MINH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. 

He added that USAID has been instrumental in effecting changes and addressing family planning issues over the past several years, and I congratulate USAID for partnering the government in

undertaking yet another program to achieve the goals of family planning.

The MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership project is led by Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins University affiliate and partners and will promote adaptation of evidence-based, high-impact interventions and best practices proven in previous USAID investments and will demonstrate innovative models to accelerate improvement in young people’s FP/ RH outcomes. 

The private sector will be a key player in this initiative, which will work to improve young people’s knowledge, attitude, practices and service utilization by increasing their agency to demand and access solutions that enable them to make positive FP/RH choices and also improve the accessibility and affordability of quality FP/RH care and products. To address supply, the project will strengthen systems through evidence generation and policy advocacy, strengthen youth-friendly ecosystems by increasing community/policy support for young people’s well-being and strengthen health systems to maintain essential FP/RH services for young people, particularly within the context of COVID-19 and other health emergencies.

By the end of the project, India-Yash envisions transformed public-private partnerships and investments in the development sector that are more inclusive of adolescents’ and young people’s priorities and an enhanced youth ecosystem in which young people make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

According to Sangita Patel, Director Health Office, USAID/India, the United States remains committed to the long-term success of US-India cooperation in the health sector. “USAID has decades of experience working with partners and stakeholders, including the public and private sector and young people to advance health and wellbeing.  Many of our efforts include a specific focus on promoting improved reproductive health and reducing gender-based violence. India-Yash is designed to build upon existing evidence and best practices, as well as to catalyze new ideas and partnerships, using a targeted, contextualised approach,” she said.