Islamabad: Pakistan’s first premarital web portal and mobile app has been launched to provide young people, who are about to get married or are recently married complete access to information on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH). The project under the brand name of ‘Aghaaz’ was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Population Program Wing.
Aghaaz aims to ensure that young people have a strong foundation for marriage. For this, it discusses several important areas, ranging from pre-marital screening to fostering a healthy relationship with one’s life partner. It also provides information and guidance on subjects such as number and spacing of children, pre & post-natal care, and household and money management.
Dr. Sabina Durrani, Director General – Population Program Wing, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination while addressing the launch ceremony stated that our youth makes up to 70% of the total population and such an informative platform is the need of the hour. It will go a long way in dissemination of important information required for our youth. In his welcome note Dr. AmanUllah, CEO of Forum for Safe Motherhood emphasized on the need of bridging the gap that our youthface in accessing SRH information & services.These gaps including providers who are unwilling or uncomfortable in providing these services or have fear of being seen or mistreated, and distance to and cost of services.
Aghaaz has taken into consideration all aspects of consultation and communication including barriers, cultural sensitivities and societal challenges with particular attention to the needs of young people who are going to be married, as well as those who are first-time parents. It provides quality information on reproductive health and rights with the view of empowering young people to make the right choices at the right time said Dr. Haris Ahmed, project lead of Aghaaz. He stressed on the need to ensure that every prospective couple needs to go through the premarital counselling process and Aghaaz is the perfect platform required for a long, healthy, stable and satisfying marriage.
The portal is accessible on www.aghaaz.com.pk and also through a mobile app that can be downloaded from Google play store.