KARACHI (press release): Stressing the need and importance of family planning towards country’s development, experts lauded the role of Minister of Health and Population Welfare Sindh Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and Secretary Health Zulfiqar Ali Shah for their efforts towards putting the agenda of family planning at the forefront and introducing a reproductive health bill.
The experts were speaking at a family planning 2030 meeting held in commemoration of World Population Day.
The participants highlighted the impact of high population growth rate on its socioeconomic development and emphasized its linkages with rising poverty and disparity, to climate change, high urbanization and urban migration, all restraining investment in human development and improving lives of people.
Pakistan has made its FP2030 commitments in line with its national goals agreed under the CCI recommendations and the targets set for the National Action Plan.
Technical Adviser and Focal Person FP2030 Dr Talib Lashari highlighted key reforms made under the FP2030 working group such as functional integration between the health and population welfare departments. He added that significant progress had been observed in the areas of staff capacity building, youth engagement, legislative reforms and life skills-based education.
Country Adviser Gates Foundation Dr Yasmin Qazi spoke about the historical perspective on family planning in Pakistan and stressed that we need to work collaboratively to address the gaps and fulfill the unmet needs of couples who want access to family planning support. For this, we need to ensure steady supply of contraceptive commodities supplemented by behavior change engagement and counselling.
Country Director Jhpiego Dr Fauzia Assad said that an integrated multisectoral approach is imperative for expansion of family planning choices by scaling up self-injection contraceptives. She added that we need to continue to innovate by inclusion of concepts such a self-care in family planning and in particular focus upon engaging men in the ongoing discourse of Family Planning.
President Szabist University Shehnaz Wazir Ali remarked that joint planning is critical for creating cohesion amongst FP2030 partners and assured galvanizing academia support for partners. Ms. Wazir also appreciated CIP for being acknowledged as global best practice model out of 43 countries.
UNFPA representative Renuka Swami cautioned that with the world population reaching 8 billion it underscores the need for moving from number towards making informed choices. She suggested to engaging young people in the discourse of family planning.
Dr Mohiuddin, RIZ consulting said that one of the core indicators under FP2030 is increasing the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) and for that it is imperative to scale-up new modern contraceptive such as self-injectable Sayanna Press.