‘Doctors in rural areas to educate people on population control’


The Sindh government has launched an advocacy programme on reproductive health issues in the rural areas of Sindh for which it has signed an agreement with doctors and homeopathic practitioners working there to educate the masses, Population Welfare Department Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah said on Sunday.
“The Population Welfare Department has come exclusively under the control of the province instead of being handled through the federally-centered departments,” he added.
“Federal ministers and departments have their role to play in population welfare, but after the start of a province-oriented Population Welfare Department, the whole programme is customised as per the needs and requirements of the province.”
Speaking to a group of journalists, Shah said that a Population Council would be set up with the chief minister and the population welfare minister as its chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
“The Sindh government is negotiating with stakeholders to prepare a unique population policy so that we can make a infrastructure for this department,” he added.
“In short, everything is going well and we hope to achieve the desire targets with more discipline and efforts in the least span of time.”
He said that the provinces of the country differ on various social, education and economical grounds and that is why it was the need of hour to tackle population issues provincially.
“Here, we are have a more focused approach that is to give a controlled rise to quality population, wherein each and every man and woman is taken as real asset, not only for their own families but for the entire national progress and betterment as well,” he remarked.
“I think that the transfer of the Population Welfare Department to the provinces will increase our efficiency, because now we can work with more powers. It is better to work under an empowered set-up with more resources and authorities to execute population
control programmes.”
Shah said the Population Welfare Department is trying to create a friendlier environment
where all people, belonging to any urban or rural background, can easily discuss issues and acquire detailed information as well as complete guidance.
“There is a dire need to create awareness, especially in the rural areas. People living in an urban environment are well aware about the risks and hazards posed by overpopulation in any country. In fact, most of the urbanites know that overpopulation is a major problem not only for country, but it has also emerged as a global concern,” he noted.
“On the eve of the World Population Day on October 31, 2011, the UN declared that the global population has exceeded seven billion. So it is really an alarming situation that must be dealt intelligently.”
Shah said Sindh has a 42.4 million population, making it the second largest province of the country.
“We need to keep our population under control. In the urban areas, there are hospitals, basic health units and various nongovernmental organisations helping people get the awareness and education needed about the usage of contraceptive methods. But unfortunately, in most of rural areas, we don’t have many hospitals and heath units to deal with this problem,” he added.
In the rural areas, the situation is not very encouraging due to many factors. In general, people are reluctant about adopting contraceptive methods because of the so-called traditional and cultural norms and values, where is no room for any sort of family planning or population control. For this purpose, we have hired female health workers to educate rural woman in a very friendly and convincing manner. For the meantime, we also manage female health units that visit rural areas to educate people about contraceptive methods.”