Family planning

Miqdad Sibtain

Despite repeated efforts made by the successive governments, to control population growth in the country, Pakistan is still lagging behind its neighbours in promoting family planning and birth control methods. A number of organizations both, government, non-government and private firms are working in various parts of Pakistan to create awareness about the benefits of family planning and as to how families can live a better life if they have fewer children.
Community midwives are being trained by these companies’ own doctors and trainers or through international help. In some cases international organizations working in Pakistan are training batches of trainers who are then imparting training to thousands of lady health visitors around the country. Lady health visitors or community midwives are women who are usually chosen from within a district to provide family planning services to the people of her community with the support of an organization.
A couple of private sector entities and international organizations are shouldering the responsibility of population planning, in wake of the indifference and evasiveness of the public sector in Pakistan. The devolution of the subject to the Provinces under the 18th Amendment has further eclipsed the subject. A handful of non-government organizations like DKT Pakistan are however, playing a visibly vital role towards this objective, through establishment of Dhanak Healthcare Centers across the rural and urban areas of the country which are run by trained community midwives (CMW) chosen from the area. These centers are not only providing family planning services to local people, but they are also providing a livelihood for the CMWs.
However, despite the increase in access to family planning counsellors and products many women who want to adopt modern contraceptive methods are unable to access product. Cultural norms, family expectations and lack of discreet access to family planning products and services hinder contraceptive use, especially by young couples.
Family planning in a country like Pakistan is not easy because of the many cultural and religious restrictions that exist. But if the masses keep avoiding this issue it is highly likely that their offspring will be living in an overburdened country which won’t have enough resources to support the population explosion. Majority parents want their children to live a happy and prosperous life but given the continuing incidence of the rate at which the population of Pakistan is growing, how many parents can actually ensure that their children will get a good life if the issue of family planning is not spoken about and controlled.
—Via email

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