With the world’s population nearing 7 billion, humanity faces critical demographic challenges. When considering all the factors of overpopulation, the future holds a bleak picture of nations fighting for survival. Unfortunately, due to illiteracy and lack of awareness the population of Pakistan in general and Punjab in particular is also increasing with each passing day. The increasing ratio of population is a grave problem for countries like Pakistan. The social well-being of people is the prime responsibility of state and population welfare is its important part.

In order to promote and protect the rights of citizens, the Punjab Government endeavored to take steps to control the increasing rate of population. Consequently, in the light of directions of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, the Population & Welfare Department took a lot of initiatives to control the ever-increasing population and has promoted more awareness regarding the reproductive health.

The government has paid special attention to the health care of mother and children also. Moreover, by optimally using all means of communication, different awareness programs including Family Planning are also in progress to achieve the desired outcome. All these programs include awareness related to gender equality, change in social behavior and last but not the least promotion of the concept of small family.

On the instruction of Punjab Government and with the help of Punjab Information Technology Board, all the data record of Tehsil Population Welfare Officers working in Welfare Centers established at every Tehsil have been computerized. All this has resulted in easy reporting and monitoring. Due to this, not only the information regarding the performance report but information related to the ongoing activities at these centers will also be easy to obtain on monthly basis.

Family health clinics are the advanced centers of health care where every expert and staff provide services related to all aspects of reproductive health. Such patients are not only treated free of cost but medicines are also provided to them without any charges.

At present, 118 centers are working in all District and Tensil Headquarter Hospitals of the province. Family health mobile units have also been established to provide services to people belonging to remote areas of the province. Women Medical Officers are the in charge of these units and trained staff provides services of family planning to people nearby their houses. Presently, these units are providing services in 117 Tehsils of the province.

In a patriarchal society like ours, males are considered as the dominant force therefore, 1560 social mobilizers have been recruited to spread knowledge and awareness related to child labor and family planning.

All these initiatives highlight that despite many hurdles, the Government remains firm and determined to control the birth rate in the country and will take all necessary steps to combat the menace of increasing population.

SYED ALI QASIM,

Lahore, November 23.