KARACHI: The results of the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-18 indicate improvements in child mortality and maternal healthcare in Sindh. The results were released during a seminar organised by the National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS).
The survey provides estimates at the national and provincial levels for urban and rural areas. The 2017-2018 survey included for the first time data disaggregated by disability status along with age, wealth, educational status and province. The results indicate that families across Pakistan are improving in terms of health and neonatal and infant mortality rates have declined as has under-five-years-age mortality. It reveals that more births were registered to be delivered in a health facility - from 58% in 2012-13 to 72% in 2017-18. The trend of pregnant women getting antenatal check-ups has improved as well, with 78% in 2012-13 to 86% in 2017-18.
The survey also indicates that challenges still prevail and many children across the country suffer from malnutrition. Access and availability to family planning information and services also remains lacking.
The 2017-18 PHDS survey was implemented by NIPS under the aegis of the ministry of national health services, regulations and coordination. It is the fourth such survey conducted in the country since 1990-91 and was conducted in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Programme. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) also partnered on the project.
USAID Director for Sindh and Balochistan Michael Hryshchyshyn said the survey should be used to direct efforts for the next five years and not be considered just a report card. Good data leads to evidence-based decision making by government and development organisations.