As the country’s population is increasing at a rapid rate, putting a huge strain on available resources, President Dr Arif Alvi has taken it upon himself to highlight the problem of population explosion and this became evident when he had a detailed interaction with senior journalists highlighting the key role of the media. in the face of issues and challenges related to population and health.
He pointed out that Pakistan’s rapid population growth has implications for the country’s socio-economic development and called for a massive nationwide campaign to raise awareness.
The president’s commendable move comes against the backdrop of reports that the country’s population is expected to reach 285 million in just eight years, that is, in 2030.
The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan, who helps raise mass awareness on the issue, has warned on occasion that unplanned population growth could become a national security issue, where the future generation grows up in the absence of proper education and health. facilities.
It is quite obvious that the current population growth of 2.4% would cause serious problems for the country if practical measures are not taken to control it now and this can only be achieved by obtaining the support of the doers. opinion such as the media, parliamentarians, academics, health professionals and religious scholars.
The seriousness of the situation can be gauged by the fact that we add around 5.3 million people, the equivalent of Norway, to our population each year.
Fortunately, we have a detailed national action plan, which has been approved by the Council of Common Interests, and its implementation could help change the situation.
We have before us the significant progress made by two Muslim countries – Bangladesh and Iran, which have been able to achieve their goals by integrating family planning into the comprehensive program of maternal and newborn health care, in addition to increasing the level education for women and other socio-economic improvements.
An integrated approach will need to be adopted to ensure the success of the campaign in Pakistan, which requires the involvement of all stakeholders to address issues such as high fertility rate, early marriage, minimal use of contraceptives, lack of education, alarming poverty, lack of entertainment facilities and religious dimensions.
We hope that the president and the special assistant will carry out the campaign with the support of provinces and relevant ministries and departments.