ICPD to MDGs: Missing links and common grounds

Farina G. Abrejo, Babar T. Shaikh, Sarah Saleem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The ICPD agenda of reproductive health was declared as the most comprehensive one, which had actually broadened the spectrum of reproductive health and drove the states to embark upon initiatives to improve reproductive health status of their populations. However, like all other countries, Pakistan also seems to have shifted focus of its policies and programs towards achieving MDGs. As a result, concepts highlighted in the ICPD got dropped eventually. In spite of specific goals on maternal and child mortalities in MDGs and all the investment and policy shift, Pakistan has still one of the highest maternal mortality ratios among developing countries. Lack of synchronized efforts, sector wide approaches, inter-sectoral collaboration, and moreover, the unmet need for family planning, unsafe abortions, low literacy rate and dearth of women empowerment are the main reasons. Being a signatory of both of the international agendas (ICPD and MDGs), Pakistan needed to articulate its policies to keep the balance between the two agendas. There are, however, certainly some common grounds which have been experimented by various countries and we can learn lessons from those best practices. An inter-sectoral cooperation and sector wide approaches would be required to achieve such ambitious goals set out in ICPD-Program of Action while working towards MDGs. There is a need of increasing resource allocation, strengthening primary health care services and emergency obstetric care and motivating the human resource employed in health sector by good governance. These endeavors should lead to formulate evidence based national policies, reproductive health services which are affordable, accessible and culturally acceptable and finally a responsive health system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalReproductive Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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