AJK Govt. launches plan to address challenges of rapid Population Growth in the State in latest professional manners

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Altaf Hamid Rao.

 

MIRPUR (AJK):    (Parliament Times)  AJK minister for Population Welfare and Information Technology Dr. Mustafa Bashir has said that the AJK government was committed, both at national and international level, for addressing the rapid population-growth challenges in AJK in professional manners.

“The rapid growth of population in Pakistan – besides AJK has emerged as serious challenge both for the Policy makers as well as the Policy implementers”, he said while speaking as chair of the concluding session of the dissemination event of the study titled “Mapping of Public and Private Sector for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services in Selected Districts of AJK and GB 2020”, launched by the AJK Population Welfare Department with the collaboration of UNFPA and the ministry of National Health Services (NHSR&C, Govt. of Pakistan) at the federal capital, yesterday.

Besides AJK President Sardar Masood Khan, the ceremony was also addressed by Shaikh Nasir Zamani, Gilgit-Baltistan Minister for Population Welfare; Raja Muhammad Razaq, AJK govt. Secretary for Population Welfare Department, Ms Lina Mousa, Country Representative UNFPA-Pakistan; Dr Shahid Hanif, Director General Federal Ministry of National Health Services; Dr Muhammad Rafiq, representative of the KPK Health Department; and Dr Muhammad Asif Wazir, Technical Specialist UNFPA, Sanaullah, Secretary Population Welfare Department, GB, Asghar Ali, Secretary Population Welfare Department KPK.

The minister Dr Bashir continued that at present, as per Population and Housing Census 2017 — Pakistan was the sixth most populous country the world over comprising 207.8 Million population coupled with the growth rate of 2.4% per annum during 1998 to 2017.

Dr. Abbasi underlined that if this rate of the population growth rate continued in Pakistan, the country’s population will increase to double in the next 30 years as compared with an average doubling time of 60 years for other South Asian countries. “The population of the country is projected the rapid increase to 285 million by 2030”, he pointed out.

The minister said that such a high level of population growth is unsustainable and has already eaten into the modest gains made in terms of socio-economic development.

He observed that rapidly growing population has direct negative implications for adverse climate change, environment degradation, deforestation and above all, the decline in water availability per capita — putting Pakistan in water stress situation. Besides, It will also aggravate food security and threaten the country’s sustainable development prospects, he added.

The AJK minister said that unmet need for Family Planning Services remained high at 17% indicating that millions of married couples were unable to receive adequate access to information and services to have the number of children and the spacing they desire, he point out.

He observed that this was the denial of fundamental human right.

“This gap between their intent and actual usage of family planning services is associated with long physical distances, costs and social barriers, and in particular, with misperceptions about modern contraceptives which are more pronounced in the rural areas”, the minister said and added that all these access factors affect the poor and the illiterate more seriously.

Dr. Mustafa Bashir Abbasi lauded the UNPF (former UNFPA) – United Nations Population Fund and the federal Ministry of National Health Services for their vibrant role and keen interests in dissemination of Study regarding Mapping of Public & Private Sector for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services in selected districts in AJK & GB.

“The M/o NHSR&C, Govt. of Pakistan, in collaboration with UNFPA (Pakistan) and the AJK Population Welfare Department conducted this pilot mapping study of selected districts i.e. Muzaffarabad, (AJK) and Distt. Gilgit, of Gilgit Baltistan in response to the important recommendations for delivery of quality family planning and health services in AJK and GB”, Dr. Abbasi underlined.

“I believe, Today’s conference will usher in to add a new spirit for on-going efforts for population management in Pakistan as well as in AJK and GB”, the minister said.

Dr. Mustafa Abbasi expressed the hope that that in pursuance of the CCI (Council of Common Interest) -approved recommendations, Pilot study of Mapping of Public & Private Sector for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services in Selected districts in AJK & GB will yield very positive results in pooling our resources to address the challenge effectively.

“Today’s august congregation will open new vistas to add onto the decisive and cogent measures besides leaving guiding principles to be followed by all stakeholders to cope with this serious challenge and to achieve the objectives in letter and spirit”, he concluded.

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