Islamabad : President Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday said Pakistan’s rapid population growth was resulting in implications on the socio-economic development of the country and called for a broad-based campaign at the national level to raise awareness among the people.
In an interaction with senior journalists here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he highlighted the media’s key role in addressing the issues and challenges related to population and health.
The meeting was held in line with the recommendations of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for an engagement with media to encourage them to spread the message on population management, as the country faces a population explosion of 285 million by 2030.
President Alvi stressed that media could play an important role in shaping up public opinion and behaviours regarding family planning.
He mentioned that focusing on the population issue in television talk shows and drama serials could also prove effective in conveying the message to the public.
The president also emphasized the need for political will with an active input by parliamentarians to lead a mass movement of advocacy on population management.
He also advised to properly highlight the discussion of the parliamentary caucus on population growth for public consumption.
The president also urged the media to broadcast public service messages besides using their platforms to raise awareness about the alarming population growth rate in the country.
He acknowledged the positive role of Ulema in raising awareness on family planning and mentioned his initiative of the Friday sermons by scholars using the platform of the Presidency’s Mosque to highlight various social issues.
He added that Islam emphasised that mothers breastfeed their children for two years, which could help achieve adequate birth spacing and overcome the problem of stunting and malnourishment.
Prime Minister s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan said unplanned population growth could become an issue of national security, where the future generation grows in absence of proper education and health facilities.
He said the government was sensitizing the masses at all levels involving political leaders, academia, executive, ulema, civil society, and youth.
It was highlighted that there occurred 4 million unwanted pregnancies in Pakistan due to lack of guidance and the unavailability of contraceptives.
Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Nausheen Hamid highlighted the role of the parliamentary caucus in giving recommendations regarding policy-making on population management.
During the open discussion session, the president exchanged views with journalists regarding mass awareness through media platforms.
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