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Bihar Health dept distributes condoms among migrant labourers

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According to a health official, it is purely a family planning measure and has nothing to do with COVID-19

The Bihar Health department is distributing condoms among migrant labourers who are going to their homes, to prevent unwanted pregnancy, after completing 14-day institutional quarantine and those in home quarantine, an official said.

Of the 28 to 29 lakh migrants who have returned to the state, 8.77 lakh people have been discharged as they have completed their 14 day quarantine period. Besides, 5.30 lakh migrants, till date, are living at block and district level quarantine centres across the state.

“Migrant labourers are going to their homes after completing the 14-day institutional quarantine. Since there are chances of unwanted pregnancies, so we properly counsel them (migrant labourers) and give them tools (such as condoms) to avoid unwanted pregnancy,” a senior Health department official said.

The official, who is entrusted with family planning in State Health Society, however, made it clear that “it is purely a family planning measure and has nothing to do with COVID-19. As a health professional, it is our responsibility to control the population. We have been taking the support of our health partner Care India to implement the initiative.”

It has been reported from the world over about unwanted pregnancies and it is in this backdrop, the Health department has initiated the step to check unwanted pregnancy, the official said, adding that it is in addition to what the department has been doing on a regular basis.

The initiative would continue till the quarantine centres are closed, he added.

The quarantine centres are likely to be closed by June 15, official sources said.

The health coordinators have been distributing two packets of condoms at quarantine centres, ASHA workers have been distributing them during door-to-door screening of people in home quarantine.

An official of the NGO Care India, said that “we are providing technical support to the Health department in this initiative.”

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