All the countries across the globe proposed the future with free of hunger, poverty, disease. The proposed vision can be achieved by implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is important to mention that 12 out of total 17 SDGs replaced with the Millennium Development Goals connected with population dynamics in September 2015.
Pakistan has earned the 6th position among the world’s most populous countries. The reason behind this unprecedented increase rate in a population that was 33 million in 1950. The growth rate of population in Pakistan is 1.86 per cent that means every year 3 million or a whole new city is added to the population. With same growth rate Pakistan is expected to reach 400 million in the year 2050. This rapid increase in because of negligence to women’s health.
“This year the theme of World Population Day is, “Family Planning: Empowering people, Developing Nations. This year World Population Day, 11 July, coincides with the Family Planning Summit, Family Planning 2020-initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020” said Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry Head of Community Medicine at CMH Lahore Medical College and Professor expressed his views to media person about World Population Day being observed on July 11 around the globe.
“Safe and voluntary family planning is every human’s right.it is of vital importance in gender equality and women empowerment that can play a key role in poverty reduction in the nation. Around the world, in developing countries, about 214 million women to avoid pregnancy are unaware of using effective but safe methods. This because they have either no support from their partners and families or have no ways to access information regarding family planning or avoiding pregnancy”, said Dr. Ashraf.
He further added in his talk that Pakistan has various other reasons for being populous every day are a trend of polygamy, religious constraints, beliefs, high infant mortality, poverty, illiteracy especially of women, traditions and lack of women empowerment and recreational activities. The most important belief of Muslims that Allah gives food to everyone even to an ant in a stone is a major cause of overpopulation. A major part of population hesitant to use contraceptives so the family planning is a controversial subject in socio-religious perspective.
Dr. Ashraf also mentioned that provincial governments are looking to federal government for funding for population promulgation. Prevalence of our contraceptive is decreasing because of a shortage of technical staff and insufficient contraceptive availability.
Population welfare programme of Pakistan is the oldest in Asia has failed and not successful like in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Increased growth rate has drawbacks like shortage of educational and health facilities, food, living space, clean water, environmental degradation, climate change, urbanization, suicide tendencies, crimes, drug addiction and corruption and decreases in per capita income indirectly affecting the economy of country”, explained Dr. Ashraf.
He also mentioned in his session to media persons Maternal Mortality Rate is 178 per hundred thousand live births and for Infant Mortality Rate Infant Mortality Rate66 per 1000 live births highest in the world. He stressed on family planning most urgent causes demand support and attention at once. Age of marriage should be increased to 25 years in males and 23 in females. Many births can be reduced by 20-30% if the marriages are postponed from 16 to 21 years.
He proposed that Ulema-e- Din can remove this misconception about Family planning if they mobilize the campaign to spread Family planning anti-Islamic and it is practiced in many Muslim with supportiveness of many Islamic scholars.
Electronic and print media, outdoor publicity and interpersonal communication can create awareness among the masses. To a question, he answered that population stabilization is best electronic and print media, outdoor publicity, and interpersonal communication. He urged the need to mobilize LHVs to market and encourage family planning commodities in rural areas. Stabilization of population can lead to the reduce maternal and infant mortality, low weight births, and stunting, most important of all improve the women and girls’ health, he concluded.