For Adnan Malik, population growth is one of Pakistan's "greatest existential issues" and he's glad to know singer Shehzad Roy is playing his part in addressing the concern.
Roy's manager confirmed to Images that he has been appointed honorary ambassador for population and family planning by the Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. News of the singer's appointment was shared on social media, eventually reaching Malik's Instagram feed.
The actor shared the news on his Instagram Stories, lauding Roy's efforts and expressing his concern over Pakistan's worrying population growth."If Pakistan's population had been less than 100 million, it would have been a different story for us. The population explosion is at the root of so many of our issues," he posted.
"Shehzad Roy, all the best to you in this capacity," Malik said about the singer's new role. "[Population growth] is truly one of our greatest existential issues. [I] support you a 100 percent."
As of last year, Pakistan is home to 225 million people, making ours the fifth largest population in the world. With a national growth rate of around 2 percent, at least 4.4 million people are added to the existing numbers every year. This addition alone is equal to the combined population of 40 of the world’s smallest countries. Unfortunately, there is worrying silence when it comes to this issue.
Population growth and family planning are intrinsically tied to one another. The national fertility rate is 3.6%, which means a mother has at least three children on average, with one child being an unplanned birth. This figure is higher than the whole of South Asia’s, which stands at 2.4 percent.
Family planning is a vital step towards curtailing population growth as well as ensuring the health and wellbeing of both mother and child. According to UNFPA, "closely spaced and ill-timed pregnancies and births contribute to high maternal and infant mortality rates. Newborns of mothers who die during child birth are also at higher risk of death or poor health."
We have to agree with Malik — it is heartening to see Roy do what he can to address this alarming issue.