Educate students about family planning

Editorial

IT is time to use drastic measures to control the country’s population growth, otherwise, there will be a big problem trying to meet the demand of our increasing inhabitants.
The higher the population growth, the higher the demand for goods and services – more classrooms, teachers, doctors and nurses.
Population growth is a major challenge for any government.
And it is no hidden fact that PNG has been ranked as one of the world’s fasted growing economies by the World Population Review.
PNG has an estimated population of 8.42 million, which, compared to the 2000 Census population of 5.19 million, is the largest in the Pacific Islands.
The annual growth for PNG has increased steadily from 2.2 per cent in 1980 to 3.1 per cent currently.
Thirty-two per cent of PNG’s population is aged between 10 and 24 years: that is two million people.
Having more than one million children every four years is unsustainable for any nation, especially a nation like PNG where we have huge challenges: infrastructure needs, schools, hospitals, education and roads and bridges that are needed right across the country.
Yes, it is a challenge as many families do not have any form of family planning.
Unbelievable, but true, is that PNG does not have a target for population size.
For a country that has celebrated 44 years of Independence, that is not right. A UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Activities) report, The State of World Population 2018, shows that when people make reproductive choices, they decide the size of their families and when to have children.
We can say most of our young generation lack that choice and it can have a long-term effect on fertility rates, often making them higher or lower than what most people desire.
The power to choose the number, timing and spacing of children can bolster economic and social development.
PNG needs a total investment of K82.6 million to reach the committed contraceptive prevalence rate by 2024, a study has shown.
The United Nations Population Fund cost-benefit analysis of family planning services in PNG shows that the country is falling short of its family planning commitments.
The report says despite increased efforts, the uptake of voluntary family planning has stagnated in PNG.
That means more investment in family planning is needed.
When contraceptive methods are increased, it will decrease pregnancies and live births and decrease maternal morality and morbidities as well as infant and child morality.
And the only way to ensure these methods work is through education.
Not just any education, but quality education, from urban to rural schools.
Our children need to learn and understand the importance of not making families in quantities and think of the quality it can produce.
We have said in past editorials, and will continue to make the stand, that quality education highlights a lot of things.
Quality education includes outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Unless the young population are educated to a standard to understand the advantages and disadvantages of having children very early in life, the population of PNG will continue to increase as an alarming rate.

One thought on “Educate students about family planning

  • Yes bigger population means one more mouth to feed but conversely two more hands to be employed and produce goods and services of all kinds.
    Then perhaps we could see, ‘Development is the best contraceptive’ – said by Dr Karan Singh at the World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974

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