Stressing the need and importance of family planning towards achieving national goals and country’s development, experts lauded the role of Provincial Minister of Health and Population Welfare (Sindh), Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and Secretary Health Sindh, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, for their continuous efforts towards putting the agenda of family planning at the forefront and introducing reproductive health bill.
They were participating in FP (Family Planning) 2030 meeting, held in commemoration of World Population Day. Participants of the meeting highlighted the impact of high population growth rate on its socio-economic development and emphasized its linkages with rising poverty and disparity, to climate change, high urbanization and urban migration, all restraining investment in human development and improving lives of people. Pakistan has made its FP2030 Commitments in line with its national goals agreed under the CCI Recommendations and the targets set for the National Action Plan.
Technical Adviser 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 said that significant progress had been observed in the areas of staff capacity building, youth engagement, legislative reforms and Life skills-based Education. Dr Lashari also shared the implementation progress of self-injectable DMPA-SC (Sayana Press) in Sindh and noted that CIP is moving to initiate self-injection by clients.
Speaking at the event, Country Adviser Gates Foundation, Dr Yasmin Qazi shared the historical perspective on family planning in Pakistan and stressed that we need to work collaboratively to address the gaps and fulfill the unmet needs of couples who want access to family planning support.
For this we need to ensure steady supply of contraceptive commodities supplemented by behavior change engagement and counselling.
Country Director Jhpiego, Dr Fauzia Assad said an integrated multi-sectoral approach is 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 is critical for creating cohesion amongst FP2030 partners and assured galvanizing academia support for partners. Ms. Wazir also appreciated CIP for being acknowledged as global best practice model out of 43 countries.
UNFPA representative, Renuka Swami cautioned that with the world population reaching 8 billion it underscores the need for moving from number towards making informed choices. She suggested to engaging young people in the discourse of family planning.
Dr Mohiuddin, RIZ consulting said that one of the core indicators under FP2030 is increasing the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) and for that it is imperative to scale-up new modern contraceptive such as self-injectable Sayanna Press.