Awareness on sexual and reproductive health an urgent need in India

11:43 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

On World Population Day, it is imperative to provide access to contraceptives and educate the youth on importance of family planning

New Delhi, 11 July 2018: The world population currently stands at 7.6 billion and the combined population of the world’s two most populous nations, namely India and China, is 2.7 billion (more than a third of the world population, indicate estimates. Every year, 11th July is observed as the World Population Day. On this day, awareness needs to be generated on the fact that an increase in population is also a social issue. Some factors that need urgent attention, therefore, include gender inequality, ignorance among youth about sexual and reproductive health issues, and lack of family planning.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where it was globally emphasized for the first time that family planning is a human right.The Teheran Proclamation, which was the outcome document of the conference affirmed that, ‘Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.’

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Sexual health is an important part of one’s overall well-being and it is essential to follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain sexual health. Sexual and reproductive health encompasses a range of interrelated issues and challenges. All persons irrespective of gender or sexual orientation should be aware of and have access to proper health care, birth control and health education programmes. This holds more relevance today on the World Population Day. In the absence of awareness, one may not be able to understand the underlying causes of sexual disorders and seek appropriate help. The unwillingness of individuals to discuss their sexual problems may be the greatest barrier to achieving the WHO’s vision of sexual health and to promoting responsible sexual behavior.”

There is a need to remove some popular misconceptions about sex, in a country such as India where the subject is still socially taboo. One must also understand that advice from a respected and trusted source is better than that from peers, the Internet, and word of mouth.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “This is a very important phase for India considering the fact that1.2 billion adolescents are reaching their reproductive years. However, most do not have access to any sort of family planning information and services. To realize their full economic potential, they should also be provided with access to contraceptives and youth-focused sexual and reproductive health and family planning programmes.”

Some tips from HCFI for good sexual and reproductive health in both men and women.

  • Eat a balanced diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. Drink plenty of water.
  • Get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get enough sleep and avoid stress.
  • Avoid using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.
  • To keep the reproductive system healthy, keep the genitals clean and avoid coming into contact with body fluids, like blood or semen. To check for cancer, women should perform monthly self-exams of their breasts, and men should perform monthly self-exams of their testes.

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