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October 28, 2017

MKRMS seminar: ‘Rapidly growing population among major challenges to country’


October 28, 2017

LAHORE: Rapidly growing population is one of the major challenges to socio-economic growth of the country. Population growth rate in Pakistan is 2.4 percent which is much higher than the same in neighbouring countries.

Population Welfare Department, Punjab has adopted a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional approach for embracing the challenge of population control. The initiatives include spreading awareness, provision of contraceptives, clinical assistance, medicines or treatment, engaging the opinion leaders of the society for overcoming social or religious taboos and capacity building of the department and its personnel etc.

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) is an important indicator of social mobilisation and awareness about family planning. Overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) for the year 2015-16 has been computed at 35.5 percent while CPR in Punjab is 38.9 percent.

These views were expressed by the speakers in a seminar “Dissemination of Punjab Population Policy” organised by Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers), Population Welfare Department, Punjab and UNFPA.

Seminar was presided by Provincial Minister for Population Welfare Department, Punjab, Mukhtar Ahmad Bharath. Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Khawaja Imran Nazir and MPA Dr Najma Afzal were chief guests at the event. Dr Mukhtar Shah (Programme Director IRMNCH), Sohail Warraich (Senior Anchorperson Geo TV), Dr Hassan Mohtashami (UNFPA), Dr Akhtar Rasheed (IRMNCH), Dr Nizam-ud-Din (Chairman Higher Education Commission), Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad (Khateeb Badshahi Masjid, Lahore), Maulana Raghib Naeemi (Incharge Jamia Naeemia Lahore), Maulana Shehzad Mujadadi (Chairman Jamia Dar-ul-Ikhlaas), Mumtaz Mughal (Resident Director Aurat Foundation), Professor Dr Rubina Sohail (Professor of Gynae, Services Hospital Lahore), Ayesha Jahanzaib (Anchorperson Geo TV), Bishop Irfan Jameel (Bishop of Lahore) and Syed Kamal Shah (CEO, FPAP) were guests of honour.

Opening speech was delivered by Naeem-ud-Din Rathore (DG Population Welfare Department, Punjab) whereas vote of thanks was delivered by Ambreen Raza (Secretary Population Welfare Department, Punjab). Wasif Nagi (Chairman Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society, Jang Group of Newspapers) hosted the event.

Mukhtar Ahmad Bharath said population policy 2017 is very important with two references. Policies are formed but the real motive to make policy is to implement it. In our society, people say that every kid has come to the world with his provision. This is true but it is our obligation to bring up our children very well. If we want to see our country in the list of developed countries then we will have to resolve our major issues. At present, the maternal mortality rate is very high in our country and indicators of nutrition are embarrassing.

Khawaja Imran Nazir said we always talk about our rights and don’t talk about our duties. When everyone starts performing own part, the problems will be resolved soon. Our population is growing rapidly whereas we have low resources. Ambreen Raza said Punjab is the developed province of Pakistan but the growing population is adversely affecting it. Provincial policy has formed to balance the population and resources and to improve health of mother and child.  We lack youth's physical training. Healthcare facilities are not available in remote areas. We have included these things in our priorities to create a positive situation.

Naeem-ud-Din Rathore said that after the 18th Amendment, there was a strong need to change the basic structure of Pakistan's population policy. According to the situation, population, area and resources of each province, Population Welfare Department Punjab took the responsibility to re-establish the policy. The current rate of growing population is 2.13 percent which will double in the next 34 years. A comprehensive and multi-dimensional plan is the main objective of the policy.

Wasif Nagi said that population of Punjab is growing rapidly. Due to that we are lacking resources. Unemployment, poverty and ignorance are increasing. We will have to take initiatives for the progress of our country; otherwise, the population is growing so fast that it will double in next coming years.

Dr Hassan Mohtashami paid thanks to the Jang Group and said the seminar has been beneficial. Famous experts have participated in this event. He added that policy has been formed but now it is time to implement it. And it is our duty to implement it. Maternal mortality rate is very high. There is dire need to control it.

Dr Nizam-ud-Din said population programme is not a bureaucrat programme. Our motive is to make a developed Punjab.

Maulana Raghib Naeemi said the motive of forming policy is to limit the circle of population. There is still a need to change the mindset of the people. We have to strengthen our society.

Dr Najma Afzal said that after 18th Amendment, the responsibility of family planning was transferred to the provinces. Now each province can act upon its policy according to the situation. Our commitment should be to achieve SDG goals. We should lay foundation of prosperous, healthy and educated society where better opportunities and quality of life should be provided to the families.

Abdul Khabeer Azad said human values are very high; we have to move together and resolve this issue. Maulana Shehzad Mujadadi congratulated everyone for organising this seminar. He said we should make family according to resources. Ayesha Jahanzaib said every child has the right to get love of his parents. It is very important for children to get the best training. For that purpose gap in children's birth period is very important to save mother from malnutrition. If a woman is healthy then she will be able to look after her home.

Bishop Irfan Jameel said family planning unit succeeds when society will join hands with it. We only talk about our issues. We should resolve our issues. Sohail Warraich said very informative topic was discussed in this seminar which motive was to create awareness among people. A person’s words are effective who himself acts upon his sayings. Professor Dr Rubina Sohail said we have a problem that we do not think as a nation. We only think what other people will say. We easily get aborted instead of acting upon family planning. People from all departments will have to work together.

Dr Jameel Chaudhry said that creating awareness about family planning is not only the task of welfare department. Things are getting better. This time, the census results are also surprising. Dr Mukhtar Shah said as long as we do not pay attention to family planning, we will not proceed. Dr Akhtar Rasheed said everything has a capacity to get better. 

Mumtaz Mughal said women are also human beings. She added that we need to address governance issues. Kamal Shah also congratulated all for organising such informative and useful seminar. He emphasised on resolving issue of rapidly growing population.