Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Population Welfare Syed Ahmad Hussain Shah said Thursday a number of initiatives were taken to dispel misconception about family planning and reproductive health issues and imparted training to 200 religious scholars as master trainers in this regard during the last two years. Addressing a press briefing to highlight achievements of the department over the last two years, the CM aide said it had been planned to bring down the current rate of four children per woman to three children by 2030.
He said the Population Welfare Department was committed to increasing the current rate of contraceptive use from 30 percent to 49 percent by 2030 as per the recommendations of the Council of Common Interests. Achieving these targets would reduce the current annual population growth rate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 2.8 percent to 1.7 percent in 2030. He said during this period 1,583,747 married couples were provided family planning medicines and services besides providing free medicines to 1,038,891 ordinary patients.
He said the population welfare department’s targets indicators had improved despite limited resources. He said that family planning centers in urban and rural areas of the province were actively engaged and were providing their services to keep balance and moderation in the population. He said that various contraceptive pills, including maternal and child health supplements were provided to ensure a proper interval between births.
He said that 16000 medical campuses were also organized in remote areas under welfare centers and mobile service units. Training was provided to 2600 staff under various training centers of the department with regard to issues pertaining to family planning. Similarly, he said 17,346 workshops and seminars were organized for scholars and public representatives at the provincial and district level throughout the province.
The field staff of the department held 268,469 group meetings to encourage people on family planning. He said 170 advertisements for family planning and small family promotion were published in various national, provincial and regional newspapers. A large number of family planning and reproductive health messages have been disseminated to the public through radio and cable networks.
He said it had been a regular part of the programme to post family planning messages through banners and billboards, adding large-scale advertisements were given especially to celebrate the International Population Day on July 11. He said under the department, 1,500 lectures were also conducted in schools regarding hygiene. He said 140 employees were recruited in different cadres. These include 46 posts (2 percent disabled) quota and 55 posts (3 percent minority).