This brief focuses on the policy options available to the Punjab government to affect the province’s population growth by 2050 and its potential to achieve MDGs 4 and 5. Maternal mortality is a leading cause of death among women of reproductive age in Punjab—about 16 percent of the deaths in this age group are pregnancy-related. Approximately 6,000 women die each year in Punjab due to pregnancy-related factors. Pregnancies that occur too early, too late, or too frequently increase the risk of maternal death. Lowering fertility rates by increasing the use of family planning can help reduce pregnancy-related deaths. The good news is that there has been a decrease in maternal mortality in Punjab. The maternal mortality ratio was estimated at 334 in 2001; in 2006, it was measured at 227; and by 2012 it had fallen to 189 per 100,000 live births. This brief combines a wide range of recent data to make the case for prioritizing family planning to meet MDGs 4 and 5. Although fertility rates have declined in Punjab, wide differentials persist and greater efforts are required to establish parity in the fertility decline, especially in rural Punjab.
"Achieving MDGs 4 and 5 in Punjab: The role of family planning," RAF Briefing Paper. Islamabad: Population Council, 2014.