Population planning vital for state's progress, prosperity: Masood

ISLAMABAD, December 15: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has said that properly educated, trained and the productively engaged population is an asset for the country.
“Proper population planning with a sharp focus on health and nutrition needs of mother and child has become inevitable to turn Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir into a developed, prosperous and welfare society,” he emphasized. 
Talking to a seven-member delegation of Pathfinders International which called on him here on Tuesday under the leadership of AJK Population Welfare Minister, Mustafa Bashir Abbasi and Country Director Pathfinder, Ms Tabinda Sarosh, President Masood said that the rapid population growth and limited resources are creating hurdles and some complicated problems in Pakistan and AJK.
While welcoming the memorandum of understanding signed by Pathfinders International and the AJK government for launching an awareness campaign about mother-child health in the liberated territory, the state president said that government and President Secretariat will fully facilitate this important initiative.
“This is a timely initiative taken in the right direction because overpopulation has been a common variable while tackling major Sustainable Development Goals,” he said and added that management of the population growth rate has become a priority for the government to achieve the desired development.
Earlier briefing the president, the head of the delegation said that Pathfinders, an international organization had been working for the women's rights in terms of sexual and reproductive health in various countries of the world for the last six decades. The organization had recently signed a memorandum of understanding with AJK government to launch an information and advocacy campaign on population welfare by focusing on health and nutrition of mother and child.
Under the program specially tailored for AJK and prepared in consultation with the Population Welfare Department, the Pathfinder will impart modern training to service delivery officials to overcome the communication barriers.
Keeping in view the terrain and limitations of AJK, the campaign will keep the focus on door to door services by making available mobile facilities to the target population.  Speaking on the occasion Secretary AJK Population Welfare, Department, Raja Razzaq highlighted the challenges faced in AJK that included resource constraints, improvement in service delivery, up-gradation of facilities and capacity building.
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