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The Dawn

Published Date: Feb 21, 2014

Nearly 50 per cent of the children missed vaccination last year

Nearly 50 per cent of the children under
two-year of age did not receive all the recommended vaccination last
year, reveals "Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey" released here on
Thursday.

The findings of the survey for the year 2012-13 launched jointly by
National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS) at Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) show that 54 per cent of the
children of 12–23 months have received all recommended vaccines whereas 5
per cent of them did not receive any of them (vaccines).

Coverage of vaccination in urban areas is 66pc and in rural areas 48pc.

According to the survey which collected 14,000 samples from all over
the country, only 29 per cent of married women of 15 to 49 years of age
are currently employed, compared to 98 per cent of men of same group.

The large majority (71 per cent) of these working women earn cash,
while 15 per cent are not paid. The majority of men (87pc) earn cash.

It further shows that one-third of married women have experienced physical violence.

Women in the poorest households (25pc) are more likely to experience physical violence than wealthier women (11pc).

Knowledge of family planning methods in Pakistan is universal; 99pc
of married women and 95pc of married men know at least one modern method
of family planning.

Nearly 40pc of currently married women and men want no more children
while 19pc of women and 21pc of men want to wait at least two years
before their next birth.

Survey shows that just 14 pc of Pakistani women between ages of 14 to
49 are thin, while 40 pc of women are overweight. Only 7 pc of 15-19
year old women are overweight compared to 51 pc of women.

Only 6pc of women in Pakistan use tobacco products compared to 45pc
of men. Among men, cigarettes (28pc) are the most common tobacco product
used.

Experts at a launch of PDHS demanded inclusive initiatives and
engagement of the government to address high population growth and also
providing better health facilities to the nation.

Executive Director NIPS Abdul Basit Khan shared the key findings of
the survey and revealed that Pakistan has made some expected
developments in the health sector, but still lags far behind other South
Asian countries.

He said that provincial governments need to address issues at
grassroots level, especially to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). “Excessive population growth, illiteracy rate, financial
constraints and food insecurity is a serious challenge for Pakistan in
ensuring access to quality health services” he said.

Senior Researcher SDPI Shakeel Ramay said that there was a dire need
to mark the importance of the publication for empirical policy analysis
and research on population studies in Pakistan.