Bill seeks focus on health needs of adolescents

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An amendment bill regarding the curriculum and roles of para-medical staff of the health and population welfare departments has been tabled in the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
A resolution for the inclusion of adolescents as a specific target group for the programs of Health, Population Welfare, Education (Literacy), Women Development, Youth and Social Welfare departments and corresponding amendments in curriculum and roles of para-medical staff of health and population welfare departments was tabled in provincial assemblies.
Addressing a National Consultation workshop organised by Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP), FPAP Director Advocacy Nabila Malick said adolescent and young people make up more than 60 percent of Pakistan’s population, out of which 27 million are females.
The needs of adolescent girls and young mothers were grossly neglected at policy levels leading to the worst social indicators in the South Asian region with low female literacy, high infant mortality rate, high maternal mortality rate and low contraceptive prevalence rate, she said.
FPAP Adolescent Women Empowerment Director Amna Akhsheed said the association in collaboration with Research and Advocacy Fund (RAF) had taken the initiative to plug policy and practice gaps at a national and provincial level.
Participants of the interactive dialogue acknowledged and reiterated the dire neglect of health needs of adolescent girls and young mother.
They pledged to play their role in advocating and championing the cause of young women and bridging existing policy gaps.
A national caucus of parliamentarians was formed at the end of the workshop to ensure consolidation of action on provincial resolutions and the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health needs of young women at national and provincial policy levels.