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[Unpublished] 1984 May 8. 31 p. (CE 92/12)This report shows how demographic information can be analyzed and used to identify and characterize the groups assigned priority in the Regional Plan of Action and that it is necessary for the improvement of the planning and allocation of health resources so that national health plans can be adapted to encompass the entire population. In discussing the connections between health and population characteristics in the countries of the region, the report covers mortality, fertility and health, and fertility and population increase; spatial distribution and migration; and the structure of the population. Focus then moves on to health, development, and population policies and family planning. The final section of the report considers the response of the health sector to population trends and characteristics and to development-related factors. The operations of the health sector must be revised in keeping with the observed demographic situation and the projections thereof so that the goal of health for all by the year 2000 may be realized. In several countries of the region mortality remains high. In 1/3 of them, infant mortality during the period 1980-85 exceeds 60/1000 live births. If measures are not taken to reduce mortality 55% of the population of Latin America in the year 2000 will still be living in countries with life expectancies at birth of under 70 years. According to the projections, in the year 2000 the birthrate will stand at around 29/1000, with wide differences between the countries of the region, within each of them, and between socioeconomic strata. High fertility will remain a factor hostile to the health of women and children and a determinant of rapid population growth. Some governments view the present or predicted growth rates as excessive; others want to increase them; and some take no explicit position on the matter. The countries would be well advised to assign values to their birthrate, natural increase, and periods for doubling their populations in relation to their development plans and to the prospects for improving the standard of living and health of their populations. An important factor in urban growth is internal migration. These migrants, like some of those who move to other countries, may have health problems requiring special care. Regardless of a country's demographic situation, the health sector has certain responsibilities, including: the need to promote the framing and adoption of population and development policies, in whose implementation the importance of health measures is not open to question; and the need to favor the intersector coordination and articulation required to ensure that population aspects are considered in national development planning.
Development Forum. 1986 Jan-Feb; 14(1):3.China has accelerated its family planning efforts. In 1979 a national policy of 1 child per couple was launched and has been vigorously pursued. Thus far, China's program has had remarkable success. The rate of natural increase was nearly halved in 10 years, from 23.4/1000 in 1972 to 12/1000 in 1982. The average annual population growth rate fell from 2.37% in 1970-75 to 1.17% in 1980-85. Yet, the crisis is far from over. The total population numbers 1.063 billion. The national target is to keep it to 1.2 billion by the end of the century, an increase of less than 20%. On July 1, 1982, after 3 years of intensive preparation, more than 5 million enumerators began the biggest and 1 of the most accurate censuses ever undertaken. The perception of growth which produced the 1 child policy was heightened by the results, which showed China to be the world's 1st "demographic billionaire." The census made it possible to prepare population monographs for each of the 29 provinces and autonomous regions of China. The information gathered has stimulated further development of skills in survey design and analysis, data processing, and publication of population information. 3 new training centers have been opened to supply the demographers and statisticians for further census work. The key to China's population strategy is voluntary family planning practice based on accurate information. The State Family Planning Commission and family planning organizations at national and local levels have mobilized hundreds of thousands of community-based workers in massive family planning publicity and education campaigns. In a country where only 2% of the population has television, face-to-face communication is the norm. An extensive network of trained community-level workers is the basis of China's famous primary health care and preventive medicine system which has been so important in improving the country's health and extending life expectancy from under 40 years in 1950-55 to over 65 in 1980-85. The approach links well with the family planning philosophy. Long before an active family planning program was begun, maternal and child health care had included family planning as 1 means of assuring the health of mothers and children. So vast is China and so great its need that the UN Fund for Population (UNFPA) assistance for family planning is concentrated either on pilot schemes or on a "training of trainers" approach. In the 1st phase of UNFPA assistance, 8 maternal and children's hospitals were selected for UNFPA support in advanced care and training. The biggest share of UNFPA assistance to China in its 2nd phase goes to contraceptive development and production.