Despite population growing at a ratio of 2.41 per cent, low spending on family planning and reproductive health along with a host of other issues could result in the country failing to achieve its family planning (FP) target of 2020.
As a result, the country would also miss its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 for the availability of services to women on family planning and reproductive health, just as was the case for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa saw a population growth rate of 2.8 percent while Punjab’s was 2.1 per cent growth, 2.4 per cent for Sindh and 3.1 per cent for Balochistan.
According to officials, the London summit for FP2020 had decided that family planning and reproductive health (FPRH) services will be provided to 120 million women in 71 countries across the world with some 7 million in Pakistan. This, however, may not be met. In fact, the National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Director General Abdul Ghaffar Khan said that they are not even close to meeting the target.
Officials say some Rs14.8 billion was allocated for family planning for a population of 220 million, or around Rs60 per individual — around Rs250 less than international standards.
During a quarterly meeting of the Country Engagement Working Group (CEWG) in the provincial capital last week, officials shared details of the programme’s status in all the provinces.
The Pakistan Demographic Health Survey (PDHS) 2017 shows that 34 percent of all married women use any method of family planning. Of these, 25 percent opt for modern methods while nine percent rely on traditional methods.
Among currently married women, the most popular modern family planning method is the male contraceptive and female sterilisation (each used by nine percent). More women in urban areas are more likely to use a contraceptive method than women in rural areas, 43 percent versus 29 percent respectively.
The use of contraceptive methods, both modern as well as traditional, increases with education and wealth, the PDHS report says.