Bangladesh: Contraception access stressed
July 25th 2012
The government should strengthen its population and family planning (FP) programmes immediately providing full access to a variety of contraceptive methods to help the country rein in the population boom, experts have suggested. They said rapid population growth is a hindrance to development and a large-scale family planning programme can help ensure ‘small family norm’ across the country, reducing the adverse impact of the boom. Presently contraceptive prevalence rate in the country is 61, which should be increased to tame the menace. Besides, the National FP programme is a seven-method one, but only three methods are constantly available: oral pills, injectables and condoms. According to the final report of the Fifth Population and Housing Census 2011, the country’s population stands at 15.25 crore [1 crore = 1o million]. Of the total, 7,63,50,518 [crore] are males and 7,61,67,497 [crore] females. The census report shows population of Bangladesh grew by 1.37 per cent annually in the past decade, 0.21 percentage point less than 1.58 per cent in the previous decade ending 2001. Population stands at 1,015 people per square kilometre and the literacy rate of the people, aged seven years and above, at 51.8 per cent, it added.
‘Bangladesh needs to revitalise its sloth population management programmes with new approaches so that they help the country the population boom,’ AKM Nurun Nabi, Professor of the Department Of Population Sciences of Dhaka University, told The New Nation yesterday. He added the country, one of the world’s most populous, could benefit a lot from providing full access of the contraceptives to the couples. Prof Nabi said, ‘Study shows each year population increases by 1.8 to 2.0 million, which could be reduced if we can bring cent per cent families under the coverage of contraceptives. Providing food, health, education, housing, water, and sanitation to the rising population would be a great challenge if the government does not act now with new policies’. He said early marriage is a big problem, and the government should go for amending laws to this end.
Experts also suggested that the government should invest heavily on family planning programmes. They also pointed out that the country is losing 1.0 per cent of its cultivable land per year to meet the demands for housing, urbanization, industries for the growing needs of a large-scale population. If such a rate continues, no arable land will exist in the next 50 years.
Source: The New Nation (Bangladesh)
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