Low Maternal Mortality Rates don’t translate into better mother, child health in Pakistan

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While experts are touting the reduction in Maternal Mortality Rates (MMR) in Pakistan, we are still a long way from better health indices and if we want to protect the health of our women and children, we actually need to tackle the taboo topic: family planning.

According to an editorial in Dawn, “Pakistan used to have one of the highest MMRs in the region. The overall decrease is encouraging, but this progress can easily be reversed if the authorities keep shying away from dealing with the problems that contribute to it. One of the biggest factors is the high number of pregnancies in women. The country’s population continues to grow at an alarming rate at the expense of women’s health. The MMR may have reduced over the last decade, but Pakistan has the highest fertility rate in Asia and the fifth largest population in the world. This means that a large population of women undergo more pregnancies than their bodies can bear.”

However, “Birth control remains a controversial subject due to opposition by the country’s religious right, but it is illogical to expect a sustained reduction in MMR without tackling the issue of family planning.”

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Author: K.M. Rizvi