PESHAWAR: Speakers at a workshop stressed upon the need of promulgation of new laws and reforms to ensure improved health services to teenager girls and young mothers. The day-long workshop titled Advocating for Improved Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) Policy and Practice for Adolescent Girls and Young mothers was organized by Rahnuma-Falimy Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) in collaboration with FPAF held here at a local hotel. Member of Provincial Assembly and member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Uzma Khan and MPA Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Mehr Sultana, Project Coordinator, Yasrab Nazir, National programme Manager, Miss Aliya, Regional Director, Gohar Zaman, FPAP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rahnuma and reporters from print and electronic media were also present on the occasion.
The speakers viewed that teenager and young mothers, especially marginalized group were being ignored in the policy making process, concerning their health problems. Gohar Zaman apprised the participants of the achievements had so for been made regarding health reforms related to adolescent girls and mothers through advocacy with various section of society and stakeholders. He said a core committee had already been constituted in consultation with religious scholars, parliamentarians, political and liberal outlets at provincial and national level.
He further revealed a committee comprising parliamentarians from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other provinces had been formed while other working groups also been framed at districts level to address issues related to SRH and MNH, particularly adolescent girls. Aliya Habib said there were almost 27 million youths in Pakistan. She said 60 percent were under 13-year of age and lacks proper policy regarding their health related issues.
The provincial women legislators, Mehr Sultana and Uzma Khan promised to take all the stakeholders into confidence and table a resolution draft to ensure better health services to adolescent girls and young mothers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Project Coordinator, Yasrab Nazir, highlighted that more than 60% population of the country comprised on youth out of which 27 million were the female. She said needs of adolescent girls and young mother were neglected at the policy levels, adding that the neglecting of teenage girls and young mothers leading the worst social indicators in South Asia. i.e. low female literacy, high infant mortality rate, high maternal mortality rate, low contraceptive prevalence rate. Rahnuma FPAP with collaboration of Research and Advocacy Fund (RAF) has taken the initiative to plug the policy and practice gaps at national, provincial and district levels for addressing the sexual and reproductive health and maternal and neonatal health issues of young women, by mobilizing the policy makers and stakeholders.