- July 11, 2019
- Posted by: Prinston Jean-Glaude
- Category: Health Articles, Living Healthy
The United Nations (UN) has been recognizing World Population Day on the 11th of July since 1989 to spotlight the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s special focus is on the unfinished business from the landmark,1994 International Conference on Population and Development, “where 179 governments recognized reproductive health and gender equality as essential to achieving sustainable development.”
According to the organization, Population Connection, global population has reached 2.5 billion with 95% of that growth occurring in less developed countries. However, the population growth rate has declined by 40% in the last 30 years. This is due to declines in total fertility rates, teen birth rates, and population growth rates while there are increases in the annual numbers of overall births and deaths (as people are living longer). The median age of the world population has increased from 24 to 31 years. Infant mortality has declined overall and life expectancy at birth has risen to 8.5 years.
The need to refocus the world on reproductive health and gender equality is dire, as the UN reports that “214 million women in less developed countries have an unmet need for family planning, and approximately 300,000 women in the developing world die each year due to pregnancy related causes.” Thus, it is vital that the international community commit to contributing more funding for programs to expand access to effective care and resources as well as support and enact policies that do not harm nor legislate women’s bodies.
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