The mind-boggling statistics have emphasized the need for maternity health awareness and education more than ever. According to the recent reports, more than 5500 mothers-to-be lose their lives during the course of pregnancy in Punjab’s Rawalpindi alone. While a number of factors contribute, the prime reason remains the lack of spacing between pregnancies.
Every fifth woman in Punjab gets pregnant against her will. If it continues this way, not only the population boom is an issue, but the lives of thousands of women are being put at risk.
The statistics were shared during a Public Dialogue on the Current Situation of the Population in Punjab. The event was organized by the Population Council.
Jamia Masjid Bahria Town Chief Khateeb Maulana Abdul Zahir Farooqi highlighted the issue in the light of religion and said that the Quran makes it mandatory for mothers to breastfeed an infant for up to two years. It automatically makes it difficult for her to get pregnant for at least three years.
“A child is still lactating and the mother gets pregnant, which deprives the infant of right to feed.”
Pims Hospital Senior Gynaecologist Dr Saima Zubair said that due to lack of awareness, poor, manufactured interpretation of religious teachings and no education about the use of contraceptives, most women get pregnant during the period when they are still lactating.
Amjad Ahsan from the Population Welfare Department shared his views, saying that there are only 77 delivery outlets in Rawalpindi where people are addressed. On the other hand, there are 175 union councils (UCs) in the city and for the provision of quality medical services, every UC should have its own delivery outlet.
PTI MNA Naureen Ibrahim said that the subject has never come under discussion in the parliament, even when Pakistan’s birth rate was 2.4 percent. One of the reasons for the situation is the patriarchal nature of the society, where bearing daughters are looked down upon and the couple keeps trying until the birth of a son.
PMLN MNA Samina Matloob also shared her views, saying that it is time for family planning focus to be shifted on men. They should bring their wives to population welfare centers where there are competent staff and free medicines available to entertain them. The government even pays transportation
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