Overview

“The overall vision of the National Population Policy 2002 is to achieve population stabilization by 2020 through the expeditious completion of the demographic transition that entails declines both in fertility and mortality rates”

The province of Punjab having a population of nearly 100 million presents the challenge to address issues like economic development and poverty reduction. While accommodating approximately 55.6 percent of the total population with 26 percent of the land area of the country, it faces major impact of rapid population increase. Such a heavy load, in the backdrop of low socio-economic indicators, not only dilutes results of development efforts, it also creates unacceptable level of demand on limited resources to meet requirements of additional population. Generating more resources for improving living conditions thus becomes a difficult task. In the past, high population growth has significantly added to the community living below poverty line. Based on present growth patterns and trends the population of Punjab is expected to double after 36 years. It is feared that the economy would not be able to sustain this growth, and no improvement in the quality of life would seem possible even under the most favorable assumptions. The present population trend is, therefore, a matter of deep national concern.

Addressing high population growth should undoubtedly be a central issue in the overall planning perspective. The need to pursue an effective Population Program at all levels can neither be ignored nor exaggerated. Differences in geographical distribution of population, being concentrated more in the northern districts of the province than in the southern districts, differences in terrain and in culture, and, to top it all, the choice for adoption of birth spacing by couples being purely voluntary are some of the challenges faced by the department to address the rapidly growing population.

Goals
PWD has formulated its goals as to:

  • Attain a balance between resources and population within the broad parameters of the ICPD paradigm
  • Address various dimensions of the population issue within national laws, development priorities while remaining within our national social and cultural norms
  • Increase awareness of the adverse consequences of rapid population growth both at the national, provincial, district and community levels
  • Plan, organize and implement family planning, advocacy and service delivery activities through the Family Health Clinics, Mobile Service Units, Family Welfare Centers, Registered Medical Practitioners, Hakeems and Homoeopaths
  • Promote family planning as an entitlement based on informed and voluntary choice
  • Attain a reduction in fertility through improvement in access and quality of reproductive health services
  • Reduce population momentum through a delay in the first birth, changing spacing patterns and reduction in family size desires

Objectives
Moreover, the Department has stemmed its objectives which are:

  • Reduce population growth rate from 1.9 per cent per annum in 2004 to 1.3 percent per annum by the year 2020
  • Reduce fertility through enhanced voluntary contraceptive adoption to replacement level 2.1 births per woman by 2020
  • Increase contraceptive prevalence rate from 30% to 60% by 2020
  • Universal access to safe family planning methods by 2020

Strategies
In order to attain maximum results, PWD has coined very precise and decisive strategies. The department strives to:

  • Develop and launch advocacy campaigns to address special groups, such as, policy makers, opinion leaders, youth and adolescents
  • Increase ownership of population issues by the stakeholders and strengthen their participation in the processes of service delivery and program design
  • Reduce unmet need for family planning services by making available quality family planning & RH services to all married couples who want to limit or space their children
  • Adopt a shift from target oriented to people-centered needs and services
  • Ensure provision of quality services especially to the poor, under-served and un-served populations in rural areas and urban slums
  • Coordinate and monitor a comprehensive network of family planning & reproductive health services
  • Build strong partnerships with concerned Line Ministries, Provincial line Departments particularly Health, Non-Governmental Organizations and the private sector including the industrial sector to maintain standards in family planning by providing assistance/guidance through advocacy, training, monitoring and other means of participation and quality assurance
  • Strengthen contribution to population activities by civil society players, particularly NGOs and media
  • Expand the role of the private sector by making contraceptives accessible and affordable through social marketing of contraceptives and through local manufacture of contraceptives
  • Decentralize program management and service delivery to provincial and district levels
  • Punjab Population Policy 2016, specifically tailored as per needs of the population of Punjab, has been drafted and is in process of approval.