Key findings of the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18

Islamabad, August 28, 2018 (PPI-OT): The National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS) has released the Key Indicators Report (KIR) of the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-18. The PDHS 2017-18 was implemented jointly by NIPS, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), ICF International and the Department For International Development (DFID). Data for this survey was collected from l4,540 households in the four provinces including FATA. Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

This was the fourth round of the survey. Earlier, NIPS also conducted the PDHS in l990-9l, 2006-7 and 2012-13. The primary objective of the PDHS 2017-18 is to provide latest estimates of basic demographic and health indicators. The PDHS 2017-18 indicates that the current fertility rate in Pakistan is 3.6 children per woman. The fertility rate in 1990-91 was 5.4, 4.1 in 2006-7 and 3.8 in 2012-13. Fertility is relatively high in Khyber Pakhtunkha and Balochistan compared to Punjab and Sindh.

The highest fertility rate is reported in Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA, with 4.8 births per woman. The 2017-18 PDHS shows that only 34% of the married women use a method of family planning. The results of the PDHS also indicate that the current infant mortality rate in Pakistan is 62 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the overall under-5 mortality rate is 74 deaths per 1,000 live births. As for child nutrition, 23% of all children under five years of age are underweight. 71% of the urban children receive all basic vaccinations compared to 63% of the rural children.

The PDHS data also show that 66% children were delivered in health facilities with 86% women having received skilled antenatal care at least once for the last birth. In addition to providing useful research data on family planning, fertility, childhood mortality, nutrition. immunization and maternal health care, PDHS 2017-18 also collected information on disabilities based on World Health Organization’s classification, for the first time in Pakistan. It addressed six core functional domains including hearing, sight, communication, cognition, walking and self-care. The results indicate that 81% of the household population above five years of age has no difficulty in either domain with the remaining, experiencing some form of disability in one or more domains.

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