2 Mn New Faces Adding Up a Year
Sunday, 11 July 2010

Over 2 million new faces adding up every year to the total population in Bangladesh which is frustrating all development efforts, family welfare minister AFM Ruhal Haque has said.

The population has doubled within 39 years of independence, which is alarming for the densely populated poor country, the minister said at a press conference marking 'World Population Day' at his ministry on Saturday.

According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the total population of the country now stands around 150 million at 1.39 percent growth rate, which was 146.6 million until July 2009.

World Population Day will be observed on Sunday. Like elsewhere across the world, Bangladesh will observe the day with the slogan 'Let every birth be planned'.

In his written statement, the minister said, "It is the biggest challenge to bring those capable couples who are yet to adopt any birth control measure under family planning programme."

"At the same time, the number of drop-out couples will have to be reduced," Haque said.

According to the 2007 figures of the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT) and Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS), 17.6 percent of the capable couples have no access to birth control methods.

"Steps are underway to make birth control materials available to ensure family planning," the minister said.

"Skilled manpower is assigned with the task in the backward places like haors (waterbody), inaccessible hilly areas and coastal areas," Haque said. As per BDHS-2007, total fertility rate (TFR) of the women is 2.7 percent.

The minister said, "The capable couples who are still out of planned family programme are mainly the very poor people living both in the villages and cities." He also stressed the need for extending the service to the poor people.

The minister said, "The government is alert enough so that each birth can be planned. It has undertaken different measures to reduce the mortality rate of child and child-bearing mothers."

It has initiated schemes for safe maternity of fifty percent pregnant women through skilled midwives during the current year," he said.

He urged all to make the programme 'Not more than two children, better if one' a success.

Different programmes have been undertaken to mark the World Population Day-2010.

The programmes include holding rally, discussion, exhibition of films, special health service, art competition, special programmes on radio and television and Family Planning Media Award-2010.

On top of that, the Directorate of Family Planning has published brochure, leaflet and posters to mark the day.

The press conference was also attended among others by state minister for health Majibur Rahman Fakir, health secretary Sheikh Altaf Ali and director general of the Directorate of Family Planning Md Abdul Quaiyum and deputy representative to UNFPA Bangladesh Yuki Suehiro.

Source: bdnews24.com

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