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INDOCHINA ISSUES. 1988 Jan; (78):1-7.A campaign promoting "1 or at most 2 children" was launched officially in 1982 in Vietnam, a country which ranked 12th most populous in the world in 1987, with the 7th largest annual growth rate. Although major municipalities have registered less than 1.7% annual growth rates, in rural areas, particularly in the southern provinces, the growth rate ranges from 2.3-3.4%; 80% of the population resides in such locales. In April 1986, the Hanoi City People's Committee issued regulations designed to encourage the practice of birth control. Cash awards were offered to couples with only 1 child and payments for sterilization after the birth of a 2nd child. The birth of a 3rd child triggers higher maternity clinic charges, and an escalating scale of birth registration fees has been introduced to discourage failure to practice family planning. The most significant statistic to emerge from the birth control program is the gradual increase in the number of family planning acceptors over the past 5 years, slightly over 1 million couples estimated in 1981 to 4.5 million acceptors estimated for 1987. Between 1981-87 there was more than a doubling of acceptors for sterilization and IUD insertion. The IUD is used by 75% of couples practicing birth control, followed in popularity by the condom. Agencies in a UN triumvirate with special population concerns in Vietnam include the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the 3 years preceding 1987, several new UNICEF-supported public information projects were implemented, including the creation of an extensive maternal and child care network. This network was used to train cadres from the Women's Union as family planning motivators. In mid-1986, an experimental and innovative pilot project on "family life" or "parenting information" was initiated by UNICEF, UNFPA, and the Vietnamese Committee for the Protection of Mothers and the Newborn (CPMN). The desired growth rate of 1.1% by 2000 will have to rely on a variety of current program innovations. Surveys now being conducted in various regions of Vietnam reveal attitudinal problems in promoting smaller families. A survey of the members of 300 farming cooperatives in various areas of Vietnam in 1986 found that 60% of those questioned believed that the more children they had the better it would be for their family economy. Cooperative Vietnamese and UN efforts, particularly the innovative surveys and field research, represent valuable approaches, but considerable need remains for improvement in birth control knowledge and application and in the means to reduce child morbidity and mortality rates.
New York, UNFPA, 1978 Jun. 53 p. (Report No 3)The present report presents the findings of the Mission which visited Afghanistan from October 3-16, 1977 for the purpose of assessing the country's needs for population assistance. Report focus is on the following: the national setting (geographical, cultural, and administrative features; salient demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the population; and economic development and national planning); basic population data; population dynamics and policy formulation; implementing population policies (family health and family planning and education, communication, and information); and external assistance (multilateral and bilateral). The final section presents the recommendations of the Mission in detail. For the past 25 years Afghanistan has been working to inject new life into its economy. Per capita income, as estimated for 1975, was $U.S. 150, a relatively low figure and heavily skewed in favor of a very small proportion of the population. The country is still predominantly rural (85%) and agricultural (75%). In the absence of reliable data, population figures must be accepted tentatively. According to the 7-year plan, the population in 1975 was 16.7 million and the rate of growth around 2.5% per annum. The crude birth rate is near 50/1000 and the crude death rate possibly 25/1000. The Mission endorses the priority given by the government to the population census and recommends continued support on the part of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to help the Central Statistical Office in the present effort and in building up capacity for future work. The Mission recommends that efforts be concentrated on the reduction of infant, child, and maternal mortality levels and that assistance be continued to the family health services and to programs of population education. Emphasis should be on services to men and women in rural areas. The Mission also recommends a training program for traditional birth attendants.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Office of International Health, Division of Planning and Evaluation, 1976. 144 p. (Syncrisis: the dynamics of health, XIX)This report uses available statistics to examine health conditions in Senegal and their interaction with socioeconomic development. Background data are presented, after which population, health status, nutrition, environmental health, health infrastructure, facilities, services and manpower, national health policy and planning, international organizations, and the Sahel are discussed. Diseases such as malaria, measles, tuberculosis, trachoma and venereal diseases are endemic in Senegal, and high levels of infant and childhood mortality exist throughout the country but especially in rural areas. Diarrhea, respiratory infections, and neonatal tetanus contribute to this mortality and are evidence of the poor health environment, and lack of basic services including nutrition assistance, health education, and potable water. Nutrition in Senegal appears to be good in general, but seasonal and local variations sometimes produce malnutrition. Lowered fertility rates would reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and might slow the present decline in per capita food intake. At present the government of Senegal has no population policy and almost no provisions for family planning services. Health services are inadequate and inefficient, with shortages of all levels of health manpower, poor planning, and overemphasis on curative services.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Office of International Health, Division of Planning and Evaluation, 1976. 92 p. (Syncrisis: the dynamics of health, XVII)This article uses available statistics to analyze health conditions in Bangladesh and their impact on the country's socioeconomic development. Background information on the country is first given, after which population characteristics, health status, nutrition, national health policy and adminstration, health services and programs, population programs, environmental sanitation, health sector resources, financing of health care and donor assistance are examined. Bangladesh's 3% annual population increase is expected to increase already great population pressure and to have a negative impact on the health status of the population. Although reliable health statistics are lacking, infant mortality is estimated at 140 per 1000, 40% of all deaths occur in the 0-4 age group, and maternal mortality is high. Infectious diseases exacerbated by malnutrition are the main causes of death. 4 key factors are responsible for the general malnutrition: 1) rapidly growing population, 2) low per capita income, 3) high incidence of diarrheal diseases, and 4) dietary practices that restrict nutrient intake. Most of the population has access only to traditional health services, and medical education is hospital oriental and curative, with minimal emphasis on public health. The level of environmental sanitation is extremely low.