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Enhancing professional skills, capacities on Population Planning;

Altaf Hamid Rao.

2-day Capacity Building Workshop to begin in Mirpur on  December 9,

MIRPUR (AJK):      In the light of recent recommendations of Council of Common Interest (CCI) and under the spirit of developing the functional integration of the stake holders especially AJK Population Welfare and Health Departments through raising awareness among healthcare service providers to rationalize the population of the country including AJK with available resources, a 2-day Capacity Building Workshop is being hosted in Mirpur from Monday – December 9 under the auspices of the UNFPA and Ministry of National Health Services Regulation & Coordination of the Govt. of Pakistan with the coordination of the AJK Population Welfare Department, it was officially said.

AJK Minister for Population Welfare, TEVTA & Information Technology Dr. Mustafa Bashir will inaugurate the grand moot of global significance.

It may be added that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN organization. The UNFPA says it “is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”.

Unveiling the salient features of the scheduled capacity building workshop and the objectives of its holding in the back drop of a judicial order by the apex court of the country, Secretary to Population Planning Department of Azad Jammu Kashmir government Raja Muhammad Razzaq Khan told this Correspondent in an interview here on Sunday that the Supreme Court of Pakistan, taking Family Planning as human right issue, had taken Suo Moto Notice on 4th July, 2018 and constituted a Task Force to frame clear, specific and actionable recommendations to address matters related to alarming population growth.

The Task Force, after a series of meetings, framed a set of recommendations aiming at enhancing CPR to 55%, lowering TFR to 2.1 and bringing down population growth rate to 1.5%. These recommendations were placed before the Supreme Court Bench headed by Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan on 30th October, 2018. The Honorable Court, while endorsing these recommendations as such, ordered the Ministry of NHSR&C to place before the Council of Common Interest (CCI), chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and represented by Chief Ministers of the provinces for immediate consideration for approval. Accordingly, the CCI approved all the recommendations in principle on 19th November, 2018 and asked the M/o NHSR&C to prepare an Action Plan with financial modalities for operationalization of the recommendations in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Razzaq continued that The CCI approved recommendations are basically a set of interventions in eight focused areas identified while keeping in view the population situation in Pakistan, the challenges faced and the global best practices and initiatives which are likely to yield tangible results and help in addressing matters relating to rapid population growth rate, low contraceptive prevalence, high fertility and high mortality rates. These recommendations would be implemented by the federal and provincial governments with active support from private sector, civil society organizations and international development partners.

The Secretary Population Planning Department of AJK Govt. further said that in pursuance to the direction / decision of the CCI, the recommendations had been translated into an Action Plan, prepared in consultation with provincial governments, relevant CSOs and other implementing partners in the private sector. The Action Plan shall enable advancing towards the national and provincial program objectives and targets. At the same time, it will help in assessing the extent of progress towards various international commitments such as FP2020, ICPD beyond 2014 and SDGs of 2030 Agenda.

He continued that in this regard the State Population Welfare Department, with the support of UNFPA and in coordination with Ministry of National Health

Services R&C, Government of Pakistan will undertake following activities through the Orientation session for DPWOs & DHOs on CCI in AJ&K on December 9 (Monday). The Conference will conclude the second and last day on December 12 with vibrant discussion and feed back by the seasoned participants / expertise on Human Right Based FP training of Healthcare Providers in AJ&K.

Raja Razzaq said that in view of being important stakeholders, participation of all District Health Officers from across AJK will attend the in order to develop understanding of all service providers in health sector regarding CCI recommendations, latest indicators vis-a-vis commitments of Govt. of Pakistan under ICPD25 and FP2020.

Besides all District Health Officers from the state, seasoned Medical Superintendent of the state-run District Hospitals, nominated by the State Health Department have also been invited in the conference for the above mentioned activities.

To a question, Secretary AJK Population Planning said that for any further query/clarification about the grand moot, the invitees / participants might contact the focal persons Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed Mir, Deputy Director Population Welfare Department (cell# 0302-5031007).

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