Population Program Wing

     
 
     
Population planning has been a regular feature of periodic-five-year National Development Plans of Pakistan since 1955. Although Pakistan has one of the oldest family planning programmes in the region yet, strategic disconnects between informed population policies and planning, and socio-economic development has resulted in limited progress not only towards lowering the fertility rates, but also in improving the contraceptive prevalence rates, resulting in a sluggish demographic transition. In line with the 18th Amendment, the Federal Ministry of Population Welfare was dissolved and the Population Welfare Programme was devolved to the provinces in 2010. Consequently, a Population Programme Wing (PPW) was established that initially functioned under the auspices of the Planning and Development Division (PDD), and in 2013 was shifted to the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination.  
  DR. SABINA IMRAN DURRANI
DG POPULATION
 

Mandate of PPW

  1. 1- Planning and Development Policies pertaining to Population Programme in the country.
  2. 2- Mainstreaming population factor in development planning.
  3. 3- Dealing and agreements with other countries and international organizations in matter relating to Population Planning Programs.
   
     

Current Population Situation

With an estimated 221 million people, Pakistan has the fifth largest population globally, fourth largest in Asia and second largest among the Muslim countries . The demographic profile of Pakistan shows an inter-censual growth rate of 2.4 percent, a fertility rate of 3.6 children per woman and a modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 25 percent which happens to be one of the lowest in South Asia

   
     

National Narrative on Population Growth

1. Rights
   All citizens of the country has fundamental rights to adequate shelter, nutrition, health & family planning, education, employment opportunities and good quality of life.
2. Responsibilities
   To attain these rights, the citizens have responsibilities to provide with basic rights and needs to the offspring while the state is responsible for necessary services and resources.
3. Balance/Tawazun
   A need for striking a balance or Tawazun on all aspects between rights and responsibilities. Tawazun is commanded in Islam and other fates

   
     

National Action Plan

The NAP spells out the actions required to implement each of the CCI Recommendation with timelines, budget, output /impact indicators as an evidence to the implementation. The NAP focuses on the following key areas; governance and accountability; ensure universal access to FP/RH services; finances; legislation; advocacy and communications, curriculum and training; contraceptive commodity security and involving Ulema.

   
     

Pakistan FP 2030 Commitment

Taking another step forward, the FP2030 vision was conceived to build on the progress made, learn from the lessons learned and accelerate progress towards meeting the family planning, SRH and health indicators. As a member of the global family planning community and a signatory to FP commitments, Pakistan is also working strenuously to redefine its population programmes by strengthening its collaborative partnership networks, increased resource mobilization, improved governance and oversight. The CCI has approved the recommendations and targets of the National and Provincial Task Forces, and costed implementation plans have been developed to set the process rolling. The FP/RH transformative vision of “three zeros by 2030” was introduced.

   
     

SDG Related to Population

The SDGs Units work closely with all relevant partners and stakeholders to determine development priorities based on local, regional and provincial needs, to review the data management systems and to identify the resource needs to meet the SDGs targets.

   
     

Council of Common Interests (CCI) Recomendations

The CCI recommendations defined targets for three key population indicators namely: contraceptive prevalence rate, total fertility rate and population growth rate. It emphasized the need to strengthen family planning programmes with a focus on voluntary family planning, quality of care, meeting the unmet needs (contraceptive, family planning, and sexual and reproductive health) of adolescent girls and women. Following are the CCI Recommendations:

  1. Establishment of National and Provincial Task Forces.
  2. Ensure universal access to FP/RH Services.
  3. Increased financial allocations by the Provincial and Federal Governments.
  4. Legislation(s) FP/RH Rights Bill, Child Marriage Restraint Act, Premarital Counseling etc.
  5. Advocacy and Communication: National Narrative, BCC and mass media movement to call of action
  6. Training and Curriculum that include population studies and population dynamics in the education curricular.
  7. Ensure contraceptives commodity security and strengthen supply chain management system
  8. Seek support of Ulema: training courses on FP for Ulema and Khateebs
   
     

Country Engagement Working Group (CEWG)

Country Engagement Working Group (CEWG) was constituted in 2016 to review and steer the efforts of the stakeholders working in family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) to achieve the commitments made by Pakistan at the London Summit (2012) on FP. Following are the TORs of CEWG.

 

  1. To provide a supportive environment to accelerate achievement of FP-2020 targets
  2. To facilitate access to additional technical and financial (if requested by any Province/Region/CSOs) support.
  3. To share knowledge, experiences and best practices amongst Provinces/ Region CSOs.
  4. The working group may commission Task Team(s) if required, to host meetings and workshops for provinces to share experiences / innovations, troubleshooting, meeting common challenges.
  5. To work with key partners for reporting progress and results against the FP 2020 targets.
  6. CEWG may revisit its composition, ToRs and working mechanisms as and when required.
  7. All decisions to be taken by consensus of Federal / Provincial / Regional members, as far as possible. CSOs and other development partners will have a supportive role only.
  8. CEWG will be led by the provinces and its meetings shall be held quarterly to be chaired by Secretary PWD of the respective Province.
  9.  Federal Government and the PWDs to nominate focal persons who will coordinate and assist the chairperson for reporting progress on FP2020 goals.
   
     

Federal and Provincial Task Forces for Population

With the President of Pakistan as its chair, the Federal Task Force comprises of Provincial and Regional Chief Ministers, Provincial and Regional Chief Secretaries, and key Federal Ministers in addition to relevant officials. The FTF in pursuance of the CCI Recommendations is responsible for taking the FP/RH agenda forward and operates with the clear terms of reference.

A series of steps including enacting laws to restrain early/ childhood marriages, decentralization of family planning and reproductive health services to the local governments, strengthening the family planning programme and network through a public-private mix approach, resource mobilization, linking population programmes with social security and safety nets, promoting health literacy and engaging with key stakeholders and influencers were proposed. Following are TORs of FTF.

 

  1. Approve an Action Plan along with financing modalities for the implementation of the recommendations approved, in principle, by CCI.
  2. Oversee and monitor performance of the action plan through pre-set performance indicators and its regular updating.
  3. Ensure funding by the Federal & Provincial Governments for the implementation of the activities of the Action Plan.
  4. Steer the process of legislation/ approval of Bills by the Parliament/ Provincial Assemblies.
  5. Appraise the efforts and support provided by the relevant Federal Ministries, especially Finance, Information, Education, Planning and Development, Religious Affairs and MoNHSR&C and International Partners (IPs) in the implementation of the Action Plan.
  6. Promote public private partnerships among all stakeholders in population related activities and also encourage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the Corporate Sector.
  7. Build national consensus on policy directions for Population for all stakeholders in Pakistan.
   
     

Universal Health

1. RMNCH

Government of Pakistan Mo NHSRC gives high priority to RMNCAH and envisages that Mother and child safety through quality of care should be a major priority while planning healthcare interventions. The international best practices are replicated in Pakistan to achieve better results. Mo NHSRC engage all the stakeholders involved in health sector need to integrate, and link their work plan to the priorities of the government. Their work also needs to be backed up by a concerted effort to promote human rights, gender equality and poverty reduction.

The National RMNCH Vision has been developed by Mo NHSRC with ten priority areas, is a dynamic document, leading to a mechanism for national consensus on important issues around RMNCAH and Nutrition in the times to come, and is in line with global commitments for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. All provinces, regions, partners, line ministries, academics and international experts have contributed and endorsed it in order to take the process forward.

   
     

2. Medical Tourism

The Medical Tourism initiative is part of the larger Economic Outreach Initiative (EOI) by the Government of Pakistan. It was initiated in February 2021. Medical Tourism not only caters to the demand side but also to the supply side of this idea. The government of Pakistan has added accredited Hospitals to its panel and works to spread its outreach to private and government hospitals. The initiative looks to invite citizens from all over the world to choose Pakistan as their medical choice. Not only does Pakistan offer its best hospitals but also its best Doctors from all over the world to add their expertise to the initiative. The objectives of the Medical Tourism initiative are:

 

  1. To provide quality healthcare to foreign nationals.
  2. Preparing a standardized mechanism that will focus on improving quality healthcare.
  3. Improving access to quality healthcare services to foreign nationals.
  4. Increasing the overall quality of services by healthcare establishments, through developing human resources in the areas of Medical Tourism.
  5. Employability of skilled health workforce in the health sector that will meet the need of the job market in Pakistan and region.
  6. Developing a long term impact on the quality of nursing education and Nursing care services in the country.
   
     

3. Yaran e Watan

Yaran-E-Watan hopes to realize the full potential of the diaspora community for health sector development in Pakistan. And to create a platform for the Pakistani diaspora to facilitate their sustained engagement for health sector development in Pakistan. Diaspora health communities can support their home country’s health care system in multiple ways that go beyond ?nancial contributions. By sharing of skills, competencies and knowledge, the diaspora community can create a sustained impact. The overarching and long-term goals are following:

 

  1. Clinical and Non Clinical Missions.
  2. Bringing the Diaspora together.
  3. Filling the Health Workforce gap in Nursing.
  4. Strengthening the Pharmacy Sector.
  5. Supporting Vulnerable Areas.
  6. Donation And Capacity Building.
   
     

Achievements

Following are Achievements of population program wing upto now.

 

  1. Establishment of Resource Center
         PPW inaugurated a population resource center on March 01, 2022. Resource center is constructed to keep all information pertaining to population program wing. Information discemination material is also part of the RC. Conference and online zoom meetings occur there as well.
  2. Media Advisory Committee
       A media advisory committee has been established in the PPW.This group of individual are appointed as advocates of the population program wing and have promised to render any help free of cost to the Government project and their advocacy.
  3. Ulemas for better Project information Dissemination
       Ulemas from all over the country have been involved in the population program wing for the better inclusion and information dissemination of the government policies and advocacies on population control and family planning. Ulema conference is arranges every year by the PPW where all members ulemas are brought together for latest information on government record policy and to their say in the population issues and ways to address the issue on hand.
  4. Seamless Coordination between Provinces
       A better and improved coordination between federal and provinces was established. Not only provinces and federal are better coordinated but also donor and stakeholders are coordinated. Reports from all provinces are monitored and all information provided by stakeholders.
  5. Contraceptive distribution
       Contraceptive supply and its distribution are better coordinated. A proper demand and supply distribution has been established for smooth workflow. A portal from USAID is also established for this purpose named as cLMIS.
  6. Strengthen of Information Technology
       IT department at the ministry is better established for later news and policy overview. A knowledge hub is in place to integrate all information and data related to health and government policies in a single place.
  7. Establishment of CCI Portal
       In order to track the implementation progress of the Action Plan, PPW in collaboration with UNFPA developed a monitoring framework. The framework was approved by all CEWG members in December 2019. Data and progress review working group was formed under CEWG to specifically track the progress on Action Plan. The working group recommended to develop web-based tool to track the progress on Action Plan implementation.