Speakers call for an integrated planning to combat challenges of rapid population growth


Altaf Hamid Rao

MIRPUR (AJK): (Parliament Times) The 2-day largely-attended  congregation on ‘Human Rights  Based Approach (HRB) in Family Planning’ concluded in AJK State’s metropolis on Saturday with due recommendations for exercising an integrated and vibrant population planning program across the country including AJK to combat growing challenges caused by the rapid population growth.The grand event titled ‘Human Rights  Based Approach (HRB) in Family Planning’ was hosted by Azad Jammu and Kashmir Population Welfare Department, with the support of UNFPA (United Naton Population Fund) and coordination of Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination, Govt. of  Pakistan for the capacity building of healthcare providers in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The Secretary AJK Population Welfare Department Raja Muhammad Razzaque while speaking on this occasion emphasized upon the participants to show passion and commitment to provide relief to the community and rationalizing the population growth through effective implementation of the population welfare program in AJK and ensuring improved service delivery.

 Highlighting commitments of Pakistan / AJK that were made before various international forums for rationalizing family planning indicators in the country and referred constitutional provisions that enunciate right to life. He specifically mentioned the salient features of suo moto human right case of supreme court of Pakistan against rapid population growth in the country.

He emphasized the need of  functional integration of family planning services between Health and Population departments and urged to redefine the role of population welfare departments. He while highlighting the complexities of procurement of contraceptives through international biddings suggested that federal government may come in aid of regional governments for pool procurement to ensure economy of scale besides guarantying contraceptive commodity security in country. Similarly, he strongly advocated for elimination of gender based violence and supported women empowerment for family planning and social development. Likewise, he underlined for public private partnership by adopting lead role  by  federal, provincial and regional governments. He distributed certificates amongst the participants. He especially expressed his gratitude for UNFPA and Ministry of National Health Service Regulation and Coordination, Govt. of Pakistan for the generous support and coordination.

Earlier, while inaugurating the seminar, Dr. Mustafa Bashir Abbasi,  AJK Minister for Population, TEVTA and Information Technology underlined rapid population growth as biggest challenge for the country and urged the healthcare providers in AJK to focus their duties with religious approach to improve service delivery in the Azad State of Jammu & Kashmir to give benefit to a common person.

He emphasized for engaging the parents while focusing on their health due to anaemia—a condition in which there is a deficiency of red cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness—most of women can lead to various complication in case they conceive pregnancy.

 The minister persuasively argued for linking family planning with health status of women which can easily convince them for adopting family planning measures. He said family planning is not a concession rather a right of married couples as such State under the law, is bound to provide fair access to the parents for family planning enabling them to responsibly decide the spacing and size of their family in view of their resources.

Ms. Midhat Shehzad, Secretary Information, Tourism & IT while taking reference from the Holy Qura’n—“And mothers[should] breastfeed their children for a total of two years—urged upon mothers to feed their kids for two years and this approach will not only bless us healthy generation rather will add into the fair process of natural family planning.

Participants expressed their satisfaction over paradigm shift viz; dealing family planning with human right approach and opined that similar sessions for capacity building of healthcare providers will not only raise the confidence of the professionals rather will also help improving the service delivery in effective manner.The seminar was largely attended, among others, by doctors and paramedics of health and population welfare department and representatives of electronic and print media.