Bangladesh baby boom bigger than earlier estimates

July 11th, 2010 - 1:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, July 11 (IANS) Bangladesh’s family planning programme has shown a declining trend and its population may touch 185 million by 2020, higher than the earlier projection of 178 million, making their sustenance difficult, a senior official has said.
The country’s family planning programme, which had earned kudos from international agencies some years ago, has shown a declining trend in the use of contraceptives among married women.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 1984 estimates projected the country to have a population of about 178 million by 2020.

The new projection indicates that rising population “will seriously affect social sectors”, said A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, project director of the Department of Population Sciences at Dhaka University.

Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely-populated countries, can support a population of 178 million with its available resources without a long-term depletion of those resources, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. Its current population is 150 million.

According to the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2007, the country’s population was increasing at a rate of 1.43 percent or 2 million per year.

Marking World Population Day Sunday, academics, demographers, reproductive health specialists and economists told New Age newspaper that the consequences of such a large population, considering the limited resources and small land areas, would be very serious.

The Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2007 shows that use of contraceptives declined by two percent in 2007 from 2004.

Around 58 percent of married woman used contraceptives in 2004 and the figure fell to 56 percent in 2007.

Because of supply shortage of injectible contraceptive materials, the rate of contraceptive use has fallen, said Mohammad Abdul Qayyum, director general of the family planning directorate general.

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