by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
The National Planning and Monitoring Department launched the nation’s first National Population Policy today.
The policy falls in line with the government’s Medium Term Development Goal, and embraces most government agenda. It aims to manage the population growth in the country.
Initially drafted in 1991, the new policy has 16 goals, 72 objectives and over 200 strategies. National Population Policy 2015 -2025 or NPP articulates the government’s Responsible Sustainable Development Strategy.
It focuses on human beings and aspires to see all children in Papua New Guinea have equal chance to education and other basic government services.
The policy was first considered in 1970 following results from the 1966 national census.
Thirty years later in 1991, the first population policy was drafted but received less government support.
It had very little emphasis on sustainable development, labour, education, literacy and environmental issues.
The second attempt for NPP was again stated in 2004 but was not brought forward to the parliament.
But finally, the recommendations made by the review team based on the two attempts in 1991 and 2004 became successful and were taken into account during the third attempt of NPP.
This became a reality with the launch of NPP today.
NPP will be rolled out in all centres in PNG and Minister Abel who was directly involved with its formation, drafting and endorsement stressed that the policy will not determine the number of children a couple plans to have but it will provide awareness on family planning and child spacing.
Under the policy, health centres and aid post will be required by the state to have all the necessary equipment and information made available to assist families who come for counselling
The planning and monitoring department is partnering with health organizations like Marie Stops and Safe Motherhood to archive the goals outlined in the Policy.