LAHORE:Despite a marginal decline in child and mother mortality rate, there is a need for better communication and awareness for family planning which is still considered a taboo.
These views were expressed by the speakers at a seminar on ‘Family Planning and Challenges’ arranged by Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society in collaboration with Policy and Strategic Planning Unit Punjab (PSPU) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The chief guest on the occasion was Punjab Environment Minister Ms Zakia Shahnawaz while the guest of honour was Secretary, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Dept, Punjab, Ali Jaan Khan.
The speakers included health specialist, PSPU, Dr Khalid Mahmood, Consultant Environment Dr Awais Farooqi, Chairman Dean Sheikh Zaid Prof Dr Farid Ahmad Khan, Chairman HEC Dr Nizam-ud-Din, Federal Technical Adviser Marie Stopes Society Dr Mumtaz, Director Planning & Monitoring Dr Noreen Asghar, Representative Green Star Dr Muzaffar Mahmood, Provincial Coordinator UNFPA Dr Babar Alam, GM Mary Stopes Society Javeria Aijaz, representative Care International Dr Ismail Virk, Dr Fauzia Asad, Advocate High Court Ch Kashif Yaqoob and Islamic Scholar Maulana Abdul Rahman. The seminar was hosted and moderated by MKRMS Chairman Pride of Performance Senior Editor Health and Education Wasif Nagi. The seminar was coordinated by Shahzad Rauf.
Minister Ms Zakia Shahnawaz said exponential increase in population and limited resources is a problem which needs to be addressed by the government, civil society, organised groups and individual. She said these platforms need to be exploited to create awareness about the issue.
Secretary Ali Jaan Khan said population growth has passed redline already and the problem is real.
It would be a disastrous, if committed efforts are not made to address it, he said. Stressing the need for a more robust media campaign on the issue of population growth and resources, he said proportion balance between population and resources is the foundation stone for a harmonious society with law and order.
The speakers were of the view that the population explosion is a grave problem which needs awareness drives to convince people to adopt family planning.
They said unemployment and population growth is directly linked and poor health and hereditary diseases are the result of poor population planning.
The said Pakistan stands sixth in world population which is an alarming situation considering the available resources. Methods adopted by China to control population were discussed at the seminar.
Maulana Abdul Rahman said to say that the family planning is un-Islamic is wrong. He said Holy Prophet (PBUH) permitted family planning.
There is a significant proof of Islamic provision for family planning and issuing edicts against family planning is unjustified and based on misinformation, he said.
Concluding the proceedings, MKRMS Chairman Wasif Nagi said it is imperative to include family planning awareness in curriculum.
He said situation is pretty grim regarding health, education and environment due to overpopulation and concrete steps are needed to control population.