KARACHI: Speakers at a programme have highlighted the impact of high population growth rate on socio-economic development, its linkages with rising poverty and disparity, climate change, high urbanisation and urban migration, all restraining investment in human development.

The meeting on Family Planning (FP) 2030 was organised by the health department in collaboration with different non-governmental organisations.

Speaking at the event held in connection with the World Population Day, Country Adviser Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Yasmin Qazi shared the historical perspective on family planning in Pakistan and stressed that everyone needed to work collaboratively to address the gaps and fulfill the unmet needs of couples who wanted access to family planning support.

“For this, we need to ensure steady supply of contraceptive commodities supplemented by behavior change engagement and counseling,” she remarked.

Country Director Jhpiego Dr Fauzia Assad said an integrated multi-sectoral approach was 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 was critical for creating cohesion amongst FP2030 partners and assured galvanizing academia support for partners.

Technical Advisor and Focal Person FP 2030, Dr Talib Lashari highlighted key reforms made under the FP2030 working group such as functional integration between department of health and population welfare department.

He added that significant progress had been observed in the areas of staff capacity building, youth engagement, legislative reforms and life skills-based education.

UNFPA representative Renuka Swami underscored the need for informed choices. She suggested to engaging young people in the discourse of family planning.

Dr Mohiuddin of RIZ Consulting said one of the core indicators under FP2030 was increasing the modern contraceptive prevalence rate and for that it was imperative to scale-up new modern contraceptives.

Program Officer Family Planning at BMGF Linnea Eitmann, informed the participants about the foundation’s three core components i.e. expanding method choice, developing new and improved contraceptive methods and lastly increasing access to each method.

The meeting concluded with the FP2030 partners reaffirming their support for the unified goal for working collaboratively for balanced population management.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2022

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