QUETTA: An action plan has been formulated for engagement with civil society organisations by different health bodies — including the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) — for overcoming the alarming rate of population in Balochistan.
The decision came at the conclusion of the two-day consultative meeting organised by the UNFPA in Quetta on Sunday. The meeting was held to engage private sector to promote public-private partnership (PPP) to improve reproductive health in Balochistan.
Representatives of the PWD Balochistan, People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) Balochistan and Balochistan Development Network — a network of development organisations in the province — were present on the occasion.
PWD Director General Aurangzaib Khan said the role civil society in Balochistan would prove a partner for the PWD in achieving commitments on birth spacing, small family norms and reproductive health.
In his briefing, PWD Director Planning Tariq Masud, said all family planning and health indicators in Balochistan are much higher. “The population growth rate of the province is 3.37 per cent, mother mortality rate account for 785 deaths on 100,000 births, infant mortality and total fertility rate is 4.1 per cent. When compared to the sister provinces, these figures are alarming,” said Masud.
Highlighting the need for PPP, UNFPA representative Dr Rasheed said: “Despite the PWD’s presence in around 27 districts of the province, it can only cover 12 per cent of the population.”
The representative stressed the need for engaging civil society organisations. “For each $1 dollar invested in family planning services, around $2.5 could be saved in net direct healthcare costs for Balochistan owing to its scattered population,” said Dr Rasheed.
The civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to work with the PWD in achieving the goals set by provincial task force headed by Chief Minister Jam Kamal.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2019.