Population planning made more acceptable socially

January 23, 2012 • Family Planning, Daily Email Recap

As a follow up to the Daily Email of January 18th about Pakistan, here is a story indicating that some officials are using a population planning strategy of emphasizing maternal health and birth spacing, as opposed to advocating for limiting births. Apparently, this has won over some clerics — who have “given the idea of birth spacing religious sanction based on the Shariah.” The story does not make clear how many clerics have embraced these notions. As a reminder, Pakistan (about 178 million) accounts for roughly 2.5% of the world population. See: http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=88451&Cat=4

Population planning made more acceptable socially

Anil Datta
Friday, January 20, 2012

Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world as regards population and the world’s seventh nuclear power, but when it comes to the human development index (HDI), we are at 145 out of a total of 193 countries of the world, which is something that must set us thinking.

These views were expressed by former federal minister, noted intellectual and social activist, Javed Jabbar, at the inauguration of a one-day seminar, titled, ‘Institutionalisation of the birth spacing paradigm in Sindh’ held under the joint aegis of the Population Council (an international USAID-funded NGO working on population issues), the Sindh Health Department, and Falah (Family Advancement for Life and health) at a local hotel on Thursday morning.

Among the things Falah had done, Jabbar said, was to change the thrust of the population planning that had existed over 50 years and instead of the slogan, ‘Bache Do Hi Ache’ (two children is just fine), they had changed the focus to the health of the mother and factors like the health of the family at large that suffers when there are unbridled pregnancies which affect the health of not only the mother but the family at large.

An audio-visual presentation comprising interviews of various people from the spheres of health, social welfare, and religion, highlighted how the endeavour had become more acceptable to the target groups as the focus was changed from limiting the number of births to bringing about a gap of at least two years in between each pregnancy.

According to this presentation, even the clerics who thus far were intrinsically opposed to population planning and considered it an abomination viewed from the religious perspective, were highly favourable inclined. It showed brief interviews with authorities on religion who favoured the idea of spacing births.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=88451&Cat=4

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