‘Media role critical in curbing population boom’
Karachi At the current rate, Pakistan is heading towards a population explosion and, by the year 2030, it would become extremely difficult for both the provincial and federal governments to allocate resources for civic amenities and provide livelihood to their people.In order to prevent this population explosion, media can play an effective role by creating awareness among a large segment of society to keep the population under control in order to better utilise diminishing natural resources.
This was stated on Friday by Dr Tauseef Ahmed, the country representative of the Pathfinder International, while addressing a group of journalists at a media workshop on population growth and reproductive health challenges in Pakistan. The workshop highlighted the role of media in addressing issues, challenges and identifying opportunities related to population and health.
Dr Tauseef Ahmed highlighted the current situation of population growth and resources constraints being faced by different provinces. If the current growth rate remained unchecked, he said, it would become a huge challenge for all the provinces to allocate resources for civic enmities to people and to ensure livelihood for all.
He pointed out that media could play an important role in addressing such issues by using its reach and impact in shaping public opinion and behaviours. Media should create awareness among masses by sharing positive stories and articles in support of birth spacing, he added. During the workshop, officials of the Pathfinder International shared the concept of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies with the journalists and how media could help in advocating this through articles and stories. It was discussed that journalists had an important role in positively advocating for policy level changes.
The religious perspective on family planning was also shared with the media persons and their role was highlighted to advocate these messages through different channels of communication. It was said that Sindh was the first province which had developed a comprehensive and detailed road map known as the Costed Implementation Plan, which was established with an aim to achieve its commitments by the year 2020. Dr Jabbar Khattak, secretary Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and chief-editor of the Awami Awaz Media group, strongly urged the media representatives to highlight family planning and population health issues in their stories. Khursheed Abbasi, secretary general of the Pakistan Fedral Union of Journalists (PFUJ), said this topic was of the utmost importance to be highlighted in media coverage. AH Khanzada, secretary Karachi Press Club, said media should highlight maternal health issue in newspapers.