LAHORE: Population was an issue that needed constant attention and until the population was brought under control, the problems of our country would not be solved.
These views were expressed by speakers at a special World Population Day seminar organized by the Punjab Department of People’s Welfare and the Mir Khalilur Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) here Wednesday.
The expert panel included Administrative and Financial Additional Secretary Talha Hussain Faisal, PPFI Consultant Dr Sohail Saqlain, IPH Assistant Professor Dr Huda Sarwar, First Female Principal Law College University of Punjab, Professor Dr Shazia Mujahid, Anchorperson Geo TV Pir Muhammad Zia- ul- Haq Naqshbandi, UNFPA Technical Specialist Shoaib Shehzad, Head of Department of Gynecology FJMU Professor Dr Zahra Khanum, Deputy Director IEC Project Director Muhammad Akhtar Bhatti, Muhammad Shahid Nusrat, UAS Associate Professor Dr Huma Rasheed, FPAP Regional Director Syed Sarfraz Kazmi, SME Director Dr. Zubadah Riaz was present and Wasif Nagi (Editor of Health Education, Current Affairs and President of Mir Khalilur Rahman Memorial Society, Jang Group) was the host.
Talha Hussain Faisal said it was the responsibility of the stakeholders to carry the message to the masses and raise awareness so that the illusions in people’s minds regarding family planning are removed.
Dr Sohail Saqlain said an innovative management technique was needed. He insisted on the need for strategic planning to solve this problem.
Dr. Zubadah Riaz said population control also includes female empowerment, education and other things. We need to educate our girls. Stakeholders must also participate like us. Now we have also started premarital counseling in five districts.
Mr. Shahid Nusrat said that 65% of the population is made up of young people and we need to talk about qualified education, as well as providing economic security. Young people need to be made aware of this.
Shoaib Ahmed Shahzad said Pakistan was the fifth largest country in the world in terms of population as the world population reached eight billion.
According to the UN, the world population will be 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100 and this will continue, he said, adding that in 1951 the population of Pakistan was 33.78 million whereas now it was around 220. million.
Pir Zia-ul-Haq Naqshbandi said the solution to the problems was to give birth to fewer children.
It is also in our religion that mothers must breastfeed their children for two years. It is necessary to unite and this should also be discussed in the Friday sermon.
Syed Sarfaraz Kazmi said population was the root of all the problems and care should be taken to reduce it. He said that every year there is an increase of 1.2 million people. Every year, thousands of students leave university but there are no jobs on the market for this.
Professor Dr Shazia Mujahid said resources have been reduced due to rising water levels. Women’s education is essential, if both husband and wife are literate, then both will come into the practical field and automatically do family planning. This is why education is essential, people with low incomes also have more children. We have to change people’s mentality and behavior. Prof. Dr. Zahra Khanum said there are 800 to 1,000 patients in the OPD at Ganga Ram Hospital, 40% of whom are pregnant women. Even in Covid times the first case of a pregnant woman came here. Even in an emergency, about 100 patients come. We need to educate women on the correct method of contraception.
Dr. Huda Sarwar said population growth has a greater impact on resources and the environment. We have to change our attitudes. According to the current report, a woman gives birth to four children. Men are also counseled on family planning.
Dr Huma Rasheed said the country’s population was growing at the rate of 2% per year. Both mother and child are affected by the birth of children without an interval, infant mortality refers to children who die within a month of birth. In this regard, Pakistan ranks first on the list of 195 countries.
Our GDP is $290 billion. Three mothers out of 2,000, likewise Pakistan ranks 15th in the world in terms of infant mortality. Akhtar Bhatti said the department’s field officers were playing their role diligently.