Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rising population worries in Burkina Faso

Family planning advocates worry over demographic information released in Burkina Faso that says the country of 13.31 million inhabitants is still maintaining to a 2.95 percent growth rate. If that holds up, the country will count more than 20 million Burkinabé by 2020.

“The census indicates that between 1996 and 2006 the population grew by 341,000 every year, which is considerable”, says Bamory Ouattara, director of the National Institute for Demographics and Statistics in a report by peopleandplanet.net.

Health reports show that only 14 percent of Burkina’s population use contraception, dipping to merely 9 percent in some rural areas, rates that call into question 20 years of family planning activities. Women in Burkina Faso bear on average seven children. Yet, the number of women who die in childbirth is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

To help stabilize the relationship between a smaller growth rate and higher development, family planning advocates have looked to the Burkina Faso government for assistance. It has responded with a $7 billion program to bring down maternal death toll by 30 percent before 2008 that also stresses strategies to fight AIDS and female genital mutilation, with family planning as the project’s centerpiece.

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