Minister: Population plans needed

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 08th December 2011

MINISTER for Health and HIV Jamie Maxtone-Graham has called for proper population plans and strategies to cater for the increasing population in the country.
Quoting reports from a demographic health survey carried out in 2006, Maxtone-Graham said the population was experiencing substantial growth with a high fertility rate of 4.3%.
He said the seven million population of Papua New Guinea was expected to double in 25 years because of the high fertility rate.
He said the population was expected to reach 24 million in the next generation and there were already indications the country might not be able to sustain the rapid rise in population.
He said there was a need to revamp the Population Council so that it was made up of committed people who “are serious in saving PNG from population destruction”.
Maxtone-Graham said the Population Council must plan population growth, define population goals one generation in advance and be prepared to meet population challenges.
He said the council must come up with policies and provide ways and means to help people limit the size of their families nationwide.
Maxtone-Graham highlighted introducing small family inducements such as no tax rebates and no school fee discount for more than two dependants to keep family sizes small.