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ISLAMABAD: With reference to the World Population Day marked on July 11 across the world including Pakistan, ministers expressed their concern over the constant population growth and the limited resources available in Pakistan.

The ministers emphasized in their messages to sensitize general public about the negative implications of population growth not only on human health especially of mother and child but also on national development.

There is a misconception that family planning is meant to control child birth. In fact, this initiative was launched to ensure better health of mother and child,” said Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel in his message on the World Population Day.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that about 60 per cent population in Pakistan is below the age of 30, who want to have better education and reasonable employment. However, with available resources in the country, perfect education facilities and jobs availability was a difficult task.

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation Shazia Marri, termed the overpopulation a major concern for development planning in Pakistan.

According to her, there is a dire need for raising awareness among the masses about growing population rate.

“If we maintain a balance between national population and resources it would ensure better health of people especially of mother and child,” she remarked.

The data shows that the maternal mortality ratio in Pakistan stands at 186 deaths per 100,000 live births. The need for family planning is high in Pakistan.

The grassroots challenges are present such as wrong perceptions, lack of trained health staff, communication gap between the partners, and others.

To make a real difference in this area and normalize family planning amongst the masses, there is need to design and execute behaviour change campaigns through use of media tools that reach out to everyone across the board, including rural and most marginalized communities. As part of the efforts to raise awareness about the importance of adopting family planning measures, KhairKhwah (campaign name means well-wisher) launched an advocacy campaign on the World Population Day with testimonial videos of government officials.

These video testimonials directly speak out to the population of Pakistan on the link between overpopulation and problems facing Pakistan such as economic crisis, unemployment, healthcare etc and encourage people to adopt family planning measures.

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