KARACHI, Dec 25: An NGO working on reproductive health and family planning held a half-day workshop with health reporters from 10 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Marie Stopes Society (MSS) organised the event to raise the profile of reporting on reproductive and maternal health in a bid to decrease the rate of maternal mortality on district level. Newspaper and television journalists from Kohat, Swat and other areas took part in the workshop.

The moot was informed that around 14 million couples in Pakistan wanted to plan their families, yet one in every four pregnancies was unplanned. The moot was also told that six per cent mothers in Pakistan died from unsafe abortions.Dr Haris Ahmed of the Pathfinder International said that according to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey of 2006-07, the average maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the country was 227 deaths per year. Among the provinces, the highest MMR was of Balochistan, with 785 deaths per year, followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with 314 and 275 deaths per year respectively.

Rehan Khan of the Rutgers WPF talked about early marriages. He said that there was double the risk of a 15- to 16-year-old mother dying during childbirth. He said that 30 per cent of all marriages in Pakistan came in the category of child marriages.—PPI

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