ISLAMABAD: Health experts on Tuesday stressed for access to and provision of quality health care services, which was the key that can transform population issues. They warned that if appropriate measures were not taken immediately it would put additional pressure on existing infrastructure. The experts expressed these views while addressing a seminar on ‘Sukh Initiative – Progress through sharing, we move forward together’ was held at a local hotel. There are a lot of people who do not want more pregnancies and the motive was to target those families and provide them proper family planning facilities at a sustainable level. This seminar was organized by Sukh Initiative, a multi-donor funded, family planning project serving one million underserved population in peri-urban areas of Karachi, Sindh. Results of Midline Evaluation of this project were shared with the diverse audience which included family planning experts, government dignitaries and civil society representatives. The experts said that under Sukh initiative, Aman Community health program (ACHP) trained 200 lady health workers (LHWs) of the National Program for Family Planning and Primary healthcare (LHW Program) to strengthen the program and increase their efficiency and effectiveness. These LHWs provide basic contraceptive methods like oral pils, condoms and follow-up dose of injectable contraceptives. They said that Pakistan was the sixth most populous country and was grappling with several challenges, including rapid population growth. The contraceptive prevalence3 Rate4 (CPR) stands at 35%, which include 26% of modern contraceptive users and 9 percent traditional users and one out of every five women in Pakistan has an unmet need for contraception. While presenting technical review of the project, Dr. Haris Ahmed, Chief of Sukh-Initiative appreciated support of Health Department, and Government of Sindh for a momentous decision to allow LHWs to provide first dose of two month Family Planning Injection (of Depo Provera) after training and supervision. This was a concrete contribution to FP2020 goals. He further commented, “I am honored to lead this unique project which actively engages and connects demand generation, service delivery, youth engagement, system strengthening and sustain-ably. With a focus on peri-urban areas in Karachi, it was essential to engage communities by acknowledging their culture, providing access and holding their hands to progress to next level of well-being. Dr. Yasmine Qazi, Senior Country Advisor, Lucile Packard Foundation, Pakistan commented, “This project is yet another value addition to women empowerment and increased access to Family Planning services in Pakistan. Access to and provision of quality health care services is the key that can transform the population issues. “We are hopeful that projects like Sukh Initiative will significantly contribute to FP2020 goals in Pakistan.” The event consisted presentations and interactive panel discussions highlighting fundamental elements of Family Planning including Community Mobilisation, Improving Access and Quality of Family Planning Services and System strengthening. Critical issues, challenges and best practices were also discussed. Dr. Talib Lashari, Technical Adviser CIP, Dr. Ghulam Hussain Shaikh – PC, KHW program and Dr. Alia Ali – NCMNH also shared their insight during the panel discussion. Dr. Azra Peecho, MNA and chair FP2020 Sindh, appreciated the performance and Sukh initiative, which reflected on the project’s success, “It is heartening to see the success of the Sukh Initiative. She said that Sukh II should be initiated because it helped a lot to Health department of Sindh government to overcome the issues regarding Family Planning. She said that collaborative efforts of Sukh along with diverse portfolio of partner organisations is creating impact with sustainable solutions. She assured that with the continued support of our stakeholders across multiple levels, I am confident that this program will make an indelible mark in health sector of Pakistan. Published in Daily Times, December 13th 2017.