Overview

“The overall vision of the Punjab Population Policy 2017 is "promoting prosperous, healthy and knowledge based society where every family is planned, every member nurtured and all citizens are provided with the opportunity and choice to attain improvement in the quality of their lives."

The province of Punjab with an estimated population of over 103 million (2016) is facing the challenge to address issues like economic development and poverty reduction. While accommodating more than 50 percent of the total population with 26 percent of the land area of the country, it receives the major impact of rapid population increase. Population density at present is estimated at 490 persons/sq. km. 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  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  seem possible even under the most favorable assumptions. The present population trend is, therefore, a matter of deep  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

The Population Welfare Department Punjab has outlined its goals as follows:

  • Stabilize population growth as an essential requirement for promoting sustainable development with equitable distribution through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral strategies
  • Reduce fertility to contain population momentum by improving access to quality of reproductive health care through integrated service delivery
  • Facilitate and guide relevant sectors to achieve SDG objectives related to universal access to reproductive health care services aimed at promoting general welfare of population

Objectives

Moreover, the Department has stemmed its objectives which are:

  • Lower wanted family size to 2.5 by 2020 through an effective population communication and education programme focusing on small family size and its relationship with human welfare and environmental security
  • Actively promote three Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy messages to reach out all women by 2020
  • Ensure necessary contraceptive security at all service delivery outlets for 2015-2020
  • Achieve fertlity level of 3.3 births per woman by 2020
  • Universal access to safe and quality family planning and reproductive health servicesto the most remote and far flung areas of the Province by 2025
  • Raise contraceptive prevalence rate to 60 percent by 2030
  • Strive expeditiously to attain replacement level fertility of 2.1 births by 2030

Strategies

In order to attain maximum results, precise and decisive strategies have been coined by the Department. 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
  • Decentralize program management and service delivery to provincial and district levels
  • Punjab Population Policy 2017, specifically tailored as per needs of the population of Punjab, has been drafted and is in process of approval.