Karachi, October 11, 2017 (PPI-OT):The Costed Implementation Plan (CIP) of the Population Welfare Department (PWD), in collaboration with the Health Policy Plus (HP+) project, conducted a Training of Trainers on Male Engagement in Family Planning from October 9-11, 2017. A similar workshop for a second group will be conducted from October 11-13, 2017.
The CIP-PWD signed MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with all the NGOs and CBOs who participated in the workshop to implement this training in their own Union Councils. The Honourable Minister for Population Welfare, Mir Mumtaz Hussan Jakhrani, Secretary, Population Welfare Department, Mr. Laeeq Ahmed, Technical Advisor, Costed Implementation Plan, Dr. Talib Lashari, and other senior members of the Population Welfare Department and HP+ were present at the signing ceremony.
The Honourable Minister for Population Welfare, Mir Mumtaz Hussain Jakhrani congratulated the leadership of the CIP and PWD for partnering with NGOs and CBOs to expand outreach of family planning services. He said that population growth is an alarming issue in the country and stressed the need to create awareness about the health benefits of family planning, especially since the recent census results indicate that Pakistan has moved from being the sixth most populous country in the world to the fifth most populous. He also commented on the need to enforce the Child Marriage Restraint Act that was recently passed by the Sindh government.
Mr. Laeeq Ahmed, Secretary PWD, said that rapid population growth is a critical problem of our country, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is directly linked to slowing population growth. He gave the example of how, 5,000 years ago, the Indus Valley Civilization had underground drains and now, due to the large population and lack of development, in this age of technology, many areas of Sindh have open drains.
He discussed the initiatives of the Sindh government in addressing this issue, primarily the Costed Implementation Plan (CIP), a roadmap to achieving Pakistan’s FP2020 goals, which is also the first CIP in the country. He said that male mobilizers had also been included in the training so that they would transfer this training in the districts. Furthermore he discussed the initiatives taken towards increasing PWD outreach, including coordination with the Department of Health for task sharing of PWD and DOH staff, and integrating content on reproductive health in education curricula.
Dr. Talib Lashari, Technical Advisor, Costed Implementation Plan, spoke on the importance of engaging the community and involving civil society in family planning issues. He said that poverty will only increase with rapid population growth, and our province will continue to face a resource constraint if we do not reach the most vulnerable sections of society and inform them of the importance of family planning and birth spacing.
The Population Welfare Training Institute (PWTI) conducted the training in collaboration with HP+. Approximately 60 representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community based organizations (CBOs) and male mobilizers are receiving training on family planning counselling through this initiative. The NGO and CBO representatives will work with the Union Councils in their districts to train male leaders from the community to become ‘Sukhi Ghar Counsellors’. These ‘Sukhi Ghar Counsellors’ will each conduct regular sessions on family planning awareness and the significance of male involvement in the family planning decision making process with men from their own communities.
The interactive, participatory workshop was conducted primarily in Sindhi and Urdu. The first day opened with an introduction to the Costed Implementation Plan, a five year roadmap to achieving Sindh’s FP2020 Goals, and an overview of family planning and birth spacing. Participants were informed about the negative impacts of rapid population growth, and how slowing population growth can help Sindh prosper.
The workshop consisted of sessions on social and behaviour change communication, leadership competencies, and inter personal communication for family planning. On the final day of the workshop the participants developed, and presented actions plans for working with males and the youth in the districts, to mobilize them for improving family planning services.
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