Family planning advocates face fatwas from fundamentalists in Pakistan

December 9, 2013 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, News

Family planning advocates face fatwas from fundamentalists in Pakistan

MUMBAI: Healthcare activists promoting family planning in Pakistan are facing constant fatwas from conservative forces, killing of volunteers and kidnapping of the public health activists, apart from the lacklustre support from the government.

“Five of our staff members were killed by the fundamentalists. But the sister of one of the martyrs came up to join and the take the social fight further as a health worker,” says Sayed Kamal Shah, CEO of Rahnuma which is the largest NGO working in the area of reproductive health. He was in Kochi to make a presentation at the ongoing global health conference on social marketing and social franchising, being organized by HLFPPT from December 3 to 5.

The main hurdles of family planning programmes in Pakistan are lack of political will, insufficient public funding, unavailability, stigma, family pressure and religious concerns, he said. “The attitude among the people is changing fast now and there is huge demand. The unmet needs for contraceptives are 33 percent. The people want to buy contraceptives, but availability is the concern,” he explained.

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