Saira pledges accelerated efforts for family health, population planning

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APP43-11 ISLAMABAD: July 11 - Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar addressing a press conference. APP

ISLAMABAD, July 11 (APP): Minister for National Health Services Saira
Afzal Tarar Tuesday pledged accelerated efforts towards achieving goals in population planning and access to reproductive health services.
“Maternal mortality and infant child mortality rates must come
down as pledged in the SDGs and we know that this cannot happen without access to reproductive health services and birth spacing practices,” she said while addressing a pres conference.
She said the government has committed to this goal in September
2015, which falls directly in the mandate of our ministry and the provincial health departments.
“Our Ministry is taking special initiatives through the National
Health vision to achieve universal access to all health services and intend to make special efforts to include reproductive health in all its programmes, she said.
She said children are dying due to malnutrition and lack of care
at the critical first year of life. “We cannot allow this to continue as an evolution of the MDGs, SDG 3.7 emphasizes and includes universal access to family planning services.
We need to accelerate our efforts with making some strong
commitments. I make these commitments on behalf of both the Federal Ministry, as it is responsible for reporting on international commitments, and on behalf of the provinces that have more direct responsibility of implementation,” the minister added.
She said the ministry of National Health Services has decided to
set up a satellite event so we could make our pledges and commitments right here in Pakistan.
“We want to publicly convey the government’s commitments to play a
leadership and ambitious role leading up to the FP2020, the final year of our commitments,” she added.
She said, “Today we are commemorating two important international
events to draw the world’s attention to important concerns regarding population trends.”
The minister said World Population Day 2017 is being celebrated
all over the world by governments, international partners and civil society today. This year the theme is Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.
She said this year’s World Population Day gains further importance by
the fact that the FP2020 Family Planning Summit 2017 is being hosted in London today by DFID, UNFPA and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
She said at the 2017 Summit, partners from around the world are
reconvening to evaluate lessons learned, invest in proven solutions and take collective action to accelerate progress towards the FP2020 goal.
She said the global community and Pakistan fully recognize the
centrality of family planning as an issue that affects human beings in the most personal ways, families in their wellbeing and survival, and nations in terms of their health, development and prosperity.
She said interest in World Population day increased when the global
population neared five billion on 11th of July in the year 1987 and today in July 2017 at a population of 7.5 billion facing a population of over 9 billion by 2050 will be a great challenge.
She said, “Our government fully recognizes that issues of
sustainability, climate change and women’s empowerment are all embedded in these population trends and deserve our focus.”