Experts call for increase in spending on population services

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Speakers at two-day interactive training said that Pakistan’s current spending on population services was $1.0 per capita and it should be doubled to eliminate unmet need.

They expressed such views while talking on the occasion of “Two-Day Interactive Training on the Role of Media in Strengthening HIV Response” which concluded here on Tuesday.

It was organized by Communicable Disease Control, Directorate General Health Services Sindh with collaboration of UNAIDS and UNFPA.

Addressing on shaping population narrative in the Pakistan, Dr. Representative of UNFPA Pakistan, BakhtiorKadirov told that a rapidly growing population was increasing the demands for food, schools, health facilities, jobs and infrastructure.

Besides, it is also rising pressure on the government to keep pace in providing these services at an equally fast pace, he informed, urging the government to increase spending on population services.

Kadirov also suggested that the public discourse on population dynamics as core element in economic and social development should be promoted.

In addition to this, all private sector providers and outlets for the health department must provide family planning services to improve access and information.

It was necessary to sustain political commitment and increased accountability to ensure that the system is delivering and meeting the family planning needs of the constituents, he added, reiterating that the Pakistan has to do this to achieve sustainable population growth.

Maryam Nawaz from UNFPA said that the population in the country was rising rapidly and putting more pressure on the government to meet demands like foods etc.

The media can play a vital role to inform and educate the people about family planning and their benefits, he said while urging the media. It would also help the Pakistan to achieve sustainable population growth.

Deputy Director Communicable Disease Control, Directorate General Health Services Sindh Dr. IrshadKazmi said that the Journalists had social responsibility to report ethically on communicable disease and population issues.

Reporters are not to be carried away by false reporting that can increase stigma, Dr. ErshadKazmi informed.

He urged the media to extend the support to the government for creating awareness about HIV and Population issues among people in the Sindh province.  UNAID Community Support Advisor, Fahmida Iqbal Khan and others also spoke on the occasion.

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