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    267005

    Situation report on population in Bangladesh.

    Preble EA

    In: UNICEF Bangladesh. Situation analysis report, prepared for UNICEF Bangladesh country programming. [Dacca] Bangladesh, UNICEF, 1977 Apr. 20-4.

    The level and growth rate of population in Bangladesh is seen as 1 of the nation's most critical problems, affecting nearly all sectors of development. Demographic data in Bangladesh is poor due to a lack of a functioning vital registration system or other reliable data collection systems. The most recent estimate of total population as of January 1, 1977, is 82 million. The average density is estimated at 531 persons/km (1974), with 90% of the population concentrated in the rural areas. The crude death rate remains high at 19/1000 population, with an infant mortality rate estimated at 150/1000 live births. The total fertility and annual growth rates are judged extremely high and are related to several factors of underdevelopment particular to Bangladesh. These include mothers' reluctance to postpone or space births because of a high incidence of infant deaths; a low level of literacy and employment of women; inadequate community health care facilities; and a lack of acceptable family planning services in rural areas. The effects and consequences of this demographic situation on all age groups in Bangladesh is apparent in all areas of development: economic growth, food production, and the delivery of health, education and social services. Although the level of contraceptive awareness is high, the extent of acceptance of contraceptive practice in the country is estimated at only 5% of eligible couples. Despite a heavy concentration of government efforts in its Population Control/Family Planning Division (PC/FP), success has been limited due to struggles between the government's Health and Population Division; frequent administrative reorganization; personnel problems; difficulties in transferring local funds; innovative program development rather than concentration on regular program activities; and the resistance of the population to family planning and limitation. A family planning component has been included in most foreign assistance schemes (IDA;USAID;UNFPA). Of concern to UNICEF is the slow implementation of the family planning side and the generally poor level of maternal and child health care which falls under the PC/FP Division, rather than the Health Division.
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