AJK govt committed to managing population growth: Sardar Masood



MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 6: A high-level led by the UN Fund for Population Affairs (UNFPA) Country Representative Lina Mousa called on the AJK President Sardar Masood Khan at Aiwan-e-Sadr here on Tuesday, and discussed in detail with him various issues including population control as well as mother-child healthcare-related problems.

The AJK Health Minister Dr Najib Naqvi, Minister for Population Welfare Dr Mustafa Bashir Abbasi and Secretary Population Welfare Raja Mohammad Razzaq were also present during the meeting.

On this the occasion, the AJK president assured the visiting UN delegation that the state population welfare department and the health department were fully prepared to work jointly with the UNFPA and other UN agencies. He maintained that to ensure population welfare, family planning, reproductive health through training of lady health workers and to reduce the mortality rate of newborn and their mothers were among the priorities of the state government, the cooperation and the technical support of the UNFPA in this regard would be highly appreciated.

Sardar Masood Khan said that being a developing region, it was the priority of the AJK government to maintain a balance between the state population and its resources in order to ensure public health, education and economic development, and to put the territory on the path of development and prosperity.

He said that at present, the population of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir was increased at the ratio of 2.1 per cent, and if necessary measures are not adopted to control the population growth, we would be faced with a shortage of food, mass transfer of population and other economic issues shortly.

The AJK Health Minister Dr Najib Naq while appreciating efforts of the UNFPA to bring stability through population management assured that the state health department in collaboration with the UNFPA would make hectic efforts to achieve the desired goals.

The AJK Minister for Population Welfare Dr Mustafa Bashir said that his department frequently organizes seminars, workshops and other community programs to create awareness among the people about the population welfare so that the population the explosion is controlled with the consultation and cooperation of all segments of society.

He said that the AJK government desires to establish a midwifery school to produce trained women who could create awareness about reproductive health in the community.

The UNFPA country representative Ms Lina Mousa said that it was obligatory for all partners including the private sector and various government departments to play their role in population planning and we also desire that the government with the cooperation of the private sector should draw up a comprehensive roadmap to provide family planning facilities in accordance with international standards.

She lauded the determination of the state government regarding reproductive health, gender equality, women’s rights and the youth development, and assured full cooperation to the state government in this regard.

The UNFPA comprising Dr Yilma Alazar, International FP Advisor; Dr Jamil Ahmed Ch Program Specialist SRH; Dr Adeela Khan, Program Analyst will also call on Prime Minister besides attending the first meeting of AJK Task Force on Population to be chaired by Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan. The delegation will also visit different health facilities including Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital, Abbas Institute of Medical Science.