Friday, September 22, 2017 | ePaper

World Population Day 2017

Family Planning: Empowering people, developing nations

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Life Desk :
World Population Day is an United Nations initiative celebrated on 11th July every year. The theme this year is "Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations."
The growing population of the world increasingly drains the earth's limited resources. With the world's population touching 7.5 billion, and projected to add yet another billion by 2030, serious concerns have been raised as to how the earth will be able to sustain the exploding population with its limited resources.
'The population of a country can be controlled by empowering people to adopt family planning methods, which will, in turn, contribute towards the development of the country.'
The causes and effects of population explosion are closely entwined. Population explosion is associated with illiteracy, poverty, lack of health care facilities, religious superstitions, and unemployment. Illiteracy results in people opting for large families with the belief that more children translate into more earning members for the family. However, one more child is also one more mouth to feed. The poor families lack the health care and economic resources to bring up the children, thereby only adding to the problem.
In India, population explosion is one of the most disturbing problems, a problem that has steadily reached mammoth proportions over the past few decades. India is set to overtake China as the most populous country in the world, in the next few years. India is a much smaller country than China, in terms of area, and therefore much less capable of providing adequate subsistence to its people. Necessary steps are thus required to be taken to control the population on an urgent basis.
Though family planning methods have been available for decades, there have been several barriers to their adequate use.
These include:
Lack of knowledge of available methods, often due to illiteracy
Lack of support from the partners. Contraceptive methods like condoms have to be used by the male partners, who may not always agree to do so
Inaccessibility to safe and effective family planning methods
On the World Population Day this year, the United Nations has decided to empower women who wish to control their family size through the theme, "Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations."
Why do women need empowerment in family planning?
All over the world, women are far less likely than men to be educated, and to actively take informed decisions about their lives. Especially among the urban-rural and rural populations of the world, particularly in the developing nations, the notion of voluntary family planning and the use of adequate contraceptives continues to be elusive. Women, in most cases, do not have financial independence and are completely dependent on the men in their families for subsistence. More often than not, they are not even aware of their fundamental right over their bodies. Yet, being able to plan the family size enables them to plan their entire lives. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), previously the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, a UN agency, is committed towards educating women in matters of child-birth, use of contraceptives and family planning, and in expanding their life choices. At present, approximately 225 million women in developing countries are in need of voluntary family planning, but lack awareness and health care. Enabling these women to avoid pregnancy would not only help the world from falling victim to certain demographic disaster, but also reduce maternal mortality by 10-20%.
Apart from empowering women to take their own decisions regarding family planning, the concept of family planning can be spread to the grassroot levels by:
Making contraceptives available to people
Educating people regarding the availability and the use of contraceptives
Making adequate healthcare facilities available to guide people on the use of contraceptives
Introducing government policies to provide financial as well as technical support through programs that provide assistance in family planning
Interesting facts about world population
The world's current population is 7.5 billion
China is the most populated country in the world at 1.371 billion
India's population, currently at 1.311 billion, is a close second
About 800 women die every day from pregnancy-related causes worldwide
As per recent UN estimates, the world's population might reach a staggering 17 billion by the turn of the century.
The control of the human population is directly related to the growth of the country. Voluntary family planning can play a very important role in pushing development forward, which is particularly important in the poorer countries. Control of the population can break the cycle of poverty, unemployment and problems in health care, and push development forward.
Source: Medindia

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