Speakers have urged the government to take practical steps to control the growing population, which is putting a great strain on economy and resources.
They were speaking at a seminar titled “Demography and Health Survey of Pakistan” jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS) here on Thursday.
Speakers urged stakeholders and healthcare providers to take the issue seriously, otherwise it will wreak havoc in the future. They also expressed serious concern over indicators of child mortality and fertility rates, alarming and highest in the region.
NIPS Project Director Tanveer Kiyani gave a presentation on PDHS 2012-13 survey that provides data for monitoring the population and the health situation in Pakistan with an explicit goal of providing reliable information about maternal and child health and family planning.
NIPS Executive Director Abdul Basit Khan said, “In Pakistan, high population growth is a huge threat to food security.” He said that the growing population was a vast subject and the government should decide what it has to do to tackle it within the limited resources.
Khan said that in Pakistan, lack of education, financial constraints and poor implementation of plans were the root causes for the growing population and a major challenge in ensuring access to quality health services.
“The government is spending a major chunk of its financial resources fighting the war on terrorism, religious extremism, and overcoming destruction caused by natural calamities while ignoring health and education,” he said.
He said that after the devolution of the ministry of health under the 18th Amendment, none of the province has finalised a policy on health and population.
Khan said that the NIPS was planning a regional conference in May to discuss and learn lessons from other South Asia countries as how they managed to achieve MDGs in the health sector.
Basit Khan said that NIPS has sent a proposal to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFA) seeking its support in carrying out an in-depth analysis of the survey.
Story here: The Express Tribune