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  1. 1

    Development and demography: A relationship that requires research [editorial]

    PLoS Medicine Editors

    PLoS Medicine. 2006 Apr; 3(4):e211.

    One of the most unsettling images for newcomers to many parts of Africa is the sight of undernourished women bearing unfeasibly large vessels of water long distances over rough terrain to supply the needs of their families. A sense of outrage that anyone should have to live like this in the 21st century forms the basis of the humanitarian imperative that drives development programs, especially those that focus on basic needs such as access to safe water. When such a program reduces from three hours to 15 minutes the time that women spend fetching water each day, surely it can be described as a success, without the need for any "scientific" assessment of what has been achieved? In this issue of PLoS Medicine, we publish a study that did assess such a program. Mhairi Gibson and Ruth Mace (DOI: 10.1371/journal. pmed.0030087)--from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom--compared villages in Ethiopia that benefited from a tapped water supply with other villages that did not. Outcome measures included the nutritional status of women and children, mortality rates, and birth rates. There were a number of surprising findings, most notably the large increase in birthrate in the villages where the water supply intervention took place. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Commission gives high priority to monitoring global trends - UN Population Commission meeting, Mar 28-31, 1994 - includes information on preparation of action program to be recommended at the Sep 5-13, 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt.

    UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2):[3] p..

    The effect of population growth on the environment, the role and status of women, and the demographic implications of development Policies were among major topics discussed by the Population Commission at its twenty-seventh session (28-31 March, New York). "The most important lesson we have learned is that population growth and other demographic trends can only be affected by investing in people and by promoting equality between women and men", Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Secretary-General of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, told the 26-member body. In the single text approved during the session, for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission asked that high priority be given to monitoring world population trends and policies, and to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation to address population concerns. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    A demographic perspective on women in development in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1998. xvi, 135 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 148)

    The selection of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam for inclusion in the study was based on a number of considerations. The ESCAP secretariat has undertaken the publication of country profiles of women in 16 other countries, namely Bangladesh, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu. The four countries included in this study, while exhibiting significant social and cultural differences, are all located in South-East Asia; they are the four least developed countries in South-East Asia on most indicators; and their economies are in transition to more open, market-oriented economies, In each of the four countries, women have traditionally played an important social role marked by considerable gender equity. Equal inheritance among children is possible, and often the norm. In the Lao People's Democratic Republic, for example, husbands traditionally move to the household of their wife and the youngest daughter inherits the family home. The proportion of households headed by women is substantial in all four countries, and quite high in Cambodia and Viet Nam. Female labour force participation rates exceed those of men in Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the female labour force is larger than the male labour force in Viet Nam. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    Malnutrition as a human rights violation: implications for United Nations-supported programmes.

    Lewis S

    SCN NEWS. 1999 Jul; (18):22-5.

    This paper presents a speech delivered by Stephen Lewis, deputy executive director of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on the implications of understanding malnutrition as a human rights violation for UN-supported programs. According to Lewis, good nutrition is a right guaranteed for children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This international agreement combines all rights equally: economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights. The determinants of good nutrition, such as food, care and health, are all covered in the provision that guarantees children the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women contains similar provisions with respect to the health and nutrition of women. These instruments of human rights serve as tools to recast understanding of every country's obligation, the program and policy strategies supported by UN agencies, and views on those who would impede the realization of the right of children and women to good nutrition. UNICEF has taken the initiative to make the rights embodied in these conventions a reality. A summary of what this means for UNICEF and other agencies of the UN with respect to malnutrition were presented, as well as the continuing efforts of UNICEF to address the problem of malnutrition in the context of human rights violation.
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  5. 5

    Statement. ESCAP population activities: 1998-1999.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]

    [Unpublished] 1999. Presented at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, Thirty-second session, New York, New York, March 22-31, 1999 2 p.

    In this document a statement concerning the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) population for the years 1998-99 is presented. The work of ESCAP has focused on (1) the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation systems for measuring progress in reproductive health and family planning programs; (2) the strengthening of policy analysis and research on female migration, employment, family formation, and poverty; and (3) aging implications for Asian families and the elderly. ESCAP's programs constitute adequate strategies, policies and measures for problem solving in the area of population and development. They involve the organization of training courses, seminars and workshops in developing countries. ESCAP, with additional support from bilateral resources, has continued to implement a number of projects dealing with such issues as the effect of globalization on population change and poverty in rural areas.
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  6. 6

    The movement continues. IPPF.

    Inayatullah A

    JOICFP NEWS. 1997 Jun; (276):2.

    In her speech initiating the Kato Award in honor of Mme. Shidzue Kato, Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) noted that Kato is one of the great women who served as a "founding mother" of the IPPF. The Kato award also highlights the IPPF's appreciation for the sustained strategic support received from the Japanese people and government. Through the momentum of grassroots family planning associations (FPAs), the IPPF has grown from eight FPAs in 1952 to 60 in 1974 and 160 today. That the conceptual work of population planners has also grown can be seen by examining the themes of the world population conferences. In 1974, the idea that development is the best contraceptive was considered novel. By 1984, planners were discussing the interrelationship between population, economic development, and quality of life. Then the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development produced a Program of Action that shifted attention from demographic, target-driven goals to democratic, client-centered goals emphasizing women's needs. The Program of Action's chapter on gender equality, equity, and the empowerment of women is considered the strongest international statement on women's status. Another advance seen in 1994 was recognition of the need for partnerships between governments and the private sector. Inayatullah called upon the 160 IPPF FPAs to actively pursue such a partnership.
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  7. 7
    Peer Reviewed

    Population and women's reproductive health: an international perspective.

    Miller K; Rosenfield A

    ANNUAL REVIEW OF PUBLIC HEALTH. 1996; 17:359-82.

    This overview describes current growth in the population of the world as well as the momentum which keeps populations expanding even after fertility rates decline. This background information precedes a discussion of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) which includes the preparatory activities, the position of the ICPD in the context of previous decennial population conferences, major innovations included in the Program of Action, and the process used to reach consensus. The following six major reproductive health concerns which arose from the ICPD are then considered: gender inequality; access to contraceptive services; sexually transmitted disease (including HIV/AIDS) prevalence, health effects, and programmatic effects; maternal mortality; unsafe abortion; and adolescent pregnancy. It is concluded that the ICPD was of enormous significance because it managed to gain consensus on some of the most controversial topics in the area of reproductive health and to mirror some of the most pressing population problems of the decade. The major drawback of the Program of Action is seen as the fact that its success will depend upon the political and financial will of governments.
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  8. 8

    First professional meeting for TSS / CST advisors on population IEC and population education. 17-21 October, 1994, UNFPA / UNESCO, Paris. [Proceedings].

    United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]

    [Unpublished] 1994. [300] p.

    In October 1994, UNFPA technical support services (TSS) and country support team (CST) advisors attended a meeting on population IEC (information, education, and communication) in Paris, France, to become updated on IEC and population education. The notebook provided to all participants contains the meeting agenda. The agenda had sessions on the latest trends in population IEC, applying research effectively in IEC and population education, the program approach (implications for IEC), implications of UNFPA support to family planning/IEC, counseling skills training and interpersonal communication, application of knowledge and policies in the area of youth, male involvement in reproductive health, reconceptualization of population education, gender issues and girls education, participatory approaches and community involvement, innovative methodologies for school-based population education, and new information technologies. The notebook also has a list of participants categorized by CST team, TSS team, UNFPA headquarters, and consultants/resource persons. The bulk of the notebook is composed of resource papers addressing topics of the various sessions and related IEC/population education issues.
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  9. 9

    Statement by the Honorable Timothy E. Wirth, United States Representative to the Second Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Population and Development, at the Preparatory Meeting, May 11, 1993. Press release.

    Wirth TE

    [Unpublished] 1993. 5 p.

    The US representative to the second preparatory committee for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Timothy E. Wirth, opened his address to the committee by stating how honored he was to represent the US and congratulated Dr. Fred Sai on his election to the chairmanship. He also congratulated UN organizers for laying the groundwork for deliberations at the meeting and subsequent ones before the ICPD. Much remains to be done in the 15 months before the conference, but much progress has already been made. Mr. Wirth recognizes the critical role of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and experts in preparations for Cairo, and notes that NGOs made outstanding contributions during the Earth Summit. NGO participation must be encouraged in preparation for Cairo, for such organizations will liven deliberations in Cairo and beyond. Mr. Wirth describes policy developments in the US since President Bill Clinton took office. The developments reflect the new determination to help lead and be part of a renewed global effort to address population problems. More importantly, the US is committed to helping promote international consensus around the world for stabilizing global population growth through a comprehensive approach to the rights and needs of women, to the environment, and to development. Mr. Wirth discusses the broader perspective in US policy, women's health and status, population and environment, migration, and new opportunities through the Cairo conference.
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  10. 10

    Empowering women. The solution to a global crisis.

    Brundtland GH

    ENVIRONMENT. 1994 Dec; 36(10):16-20.

    Norway's Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland holds a medical degree from the University of Oslo and a Master's degree in Public Health from Harvard University. She served as Norway's Minister of the Environment during 1974-79, and was elected to the Norwegian parliament in 1977. Brundtland is currently chairperson of the World Commission on Environment and Development with ten years of experience as a physician and twenty years as a politician. An edited version of her keynote address to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development is presented. The Minister's experience has taught her that improved life conditions, a greater range of choices, access to unbiased information, and true international solidarity are the signs of human progress. She stresses the need to empower people, educate them, care for their health, and provide them with equal opportunity to achieve economically. Available combined resources need to be used more efficiently through a reformed and better coordinated UN system, policies must be changed, the role and status of women strengthened, safe, comprehensive reproductive health services provided, and measures taken to achieve a balance between population size and sustainable development in keeping with available global resources.
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  11. 11

    Challenges after Cairo.

    ARROWs for Change. 1995 Apr; 1(1):1-2.

    It is time to begin work on implementing the recommendations from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) which recognized the need to eliminate gender inequality in order to improve health, reduce poverty, and empower women. This will require the reorienting of health, population and family planning programs, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and donors. Progress can be monitored on the conceptual, program implementation, and management levels. On the conceptual level, the impact of the ICPD will be seen in a shift away from demographic objectives towards improvements in the health and well-being of individuals. It is not enough merely to substitute terms, the reproductive health concept requires the adoption of broad health and rights orientation and will impact on ways in which quality of care is monitored. Programmatic issues will focus on whether women of all ages have access to a wider range of reproductive health services. To ensure that women gain greater control over their lives, several empowerment indicators must be monitored, such as whether women are encouraged to request the health services they want and need. Management changes will be revealed by budgetary revisions which allocate more funds to reproductive health care, new partnerships with nongovernmental organizations, and the initiation of gender training for all personnel. Specific needs and priority areas for changes must be identified on the country-level with the active participation of women's nongovernmental organizations.
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  12. 12

    1991 ESCAP population data sheet.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]. Population Division

    Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP, Population Division, 1991. [1] p.

    The 1991 Population Data Sheet produced by the UN Economic and social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) provides a large chart by country and region for Asia and the Pacific for the following variables: mid-1991 population, average annual growth rate, crude birth rate, crude death rate, total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, male life expectancy at birth, female life expectancy at birth, % aged 0-14 years, % aged 65 and over, dependency ratios, density, % urban, and population projection at 2010. 3 charts also display urban and rural population trends between 1980 and 2025, the crude birth and death rates and rate of natural increase by region, and dependency ratios for 27 countries.
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  13. 13

    The state of world population 1989.

    Sadik N

    New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund, 1989. 34 p.

    Women are at the heart of development. They control most of the non- money economy (subsistence agriculture, bearing and raising children, domestic labor) and take an important part in the money economy (trading, the informal sector, wage employment). Women always have 2 jobs--inside the home and outside it. Much os this work is unrecognized and those who do it can expect no support. Their health suffers, their work suffers, their children suffer. Development itself is held back as a result. This report demonstrates some of the costs of ignoring the needs of women: 1) uncontrolled population growth, 2) high infant and child mortality, 3) weaker economies and agriculture, 4) a degraded environment, and 5) a poorer quality of life. This report also demonstrates that social investments in women--family planning, health services, education--help women do a much better job of what they are already doing. A change in any aspect of a women's life produces change in every other aspect. Recommendations to endure the full participation of women in development include 1) documenting and publicizing women's vital contribution to development, 2) increasing the productivity of women and lessening the double burden of women, 3) providing family planning, 4) improving the health of women, 5) expanding education, 6) increasing equality of opportunity, and 7) some specific goals for the year 2000, such as increasing international assistance for family planning programs.
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  14. 14

    Towards a strategy for linking women, population growth, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

    Thahane TT

    [Unpublished] 1989. Presented at the Regional Conference of African Women Leaders, Nairobi, Kenya, February 8-10, 1989. 24 p.

    There is a pressing need in Africa to achieve a sustainable balance between population, the environment, and a decent standard of living for all the people. If African women are to play a leadership role in this campaign, clear policies must be instituted to improve their access to education, higher earnings, credit, and health and family planning services. Investing to improve opportunities for women can bring the following benefits: since women produce more than half of Africa's food, effective extension programs can make development programs more productive; such an approach will make development programs more responsive to the poor in that most of the poor in Africa are women and their children; investments in female education in particular can improve family well-being; involving women in natural resource management programs can promote more sustainable use of wood, water, and other resources; and access to family planning services can slow population growth. Better life options for young women would also serve to reduce high rates of teen pregnancy. The World Bank has operationalized this awareness into a program aimed at showing what can be achieved by bringing women into the mainstream of social and economic development in Africa. Initially, the Bank is focusing on a few countries in every region of Africa. The World Bank's program includes: 1) country action plans to develop ways to improve Bank lending in several sectors by more effectively including women; 2) preparation of guidelines and identification of project approaches that address women more effectively in macroeconomic and sectoral analyses; 3) program expansions in agricultural extension services and credit for women; 4) program initiatives to improve the productivity of women entrepreneurs in the informal manufacturing, trade, and services sectors; 5) program expansion in primary, secondary, and technical education for girls and adult women; and 6) the Safe Motherhood Initiative aimed at reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.
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  15. 15

    Child survival, women and population.

    Axelbank J

    [New York, United Nations, 1986.] 27 p.

    The ongoing crisis confronting women and children in the Third World--where disease and hunger are taking millions of lives of young children every year and where population growth still proceeds at an unacceptably high rate--is actually worsening in some areas. The European Parliamentarians' Forum on Child Survival, Women, and Population: Integrated Strategies was held under the auspices of The Netherlands government and organized in cooperation with 3 UN organizations: the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the UN Fund for Population Activities. It is critical that the world regain the momentum of past decades in reducing appalling child mortality rates, improving the health and status of women, and slowing population growth. Development programs from health education to agriculture are hampered or crippled by the inability of development planners to recognize the centrality of the woman's role. Maternal and child health is the logical entry point for primary health care. Education is the springboard for rescuing women in the Third World from poverty, illness,endless childbearing, and lowly social status. One should educate women to save children. Women in the developing world must be given access to basic information to be able to take advantage of new, improved or rediscovered technologies such as 1) oral rehydration therapy, 2) vaccines, 3) growth monitoring through frequent charting to detect early signs of malnutrition, 4) breast feeding, and 5) birth spacing. Education is the single most documented factor affecting birth rate, status of women, and infant and child health. The presentations at The Hague threw into sharp relief the close links, the cause and effect chains, and the synergisms associated with all the factors connected, directly or indirectly, with child survival, women's status, and population--factors such as education, economic opportunities, and overall development questions. A 4-point agenda includes 1) encouraging UN agencies and organizations concerned with social development to work closely together and to enhance the effectiveness of their programs, 2) seeking greater support for the UN's social development programs, 3) focusing public attention on the interrelatedness of health, maternal and child survival and care, women's status, and freedom of choice in family matters, and 4) maintaining and strengthening commitment through the dialogue of parliamentarians.
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  16. 16

    Population change and development in the ECWA region

    Caldwell P; Caldwell JC

    In: Aspects of population change and development in some African and Asian countries. Cairo, Egypt, Cairo Demographic Centre, 1984. 43-56. (CDC Research Monograph Series no. 9)

    This paper examines the relationship between economic development and demographic change in the 13 states of the Economic Commission for West Asia (ECWA) region. Demographic variables considered include per capita income, proportion urban, proportion in urban areas with over 100,000 inhabitants, literacy among those over 15 years, and literacy among women. Unweighted rankings on these variables were added to produce a development ranking or general development index. Then this index was used to investigate the relationship between development and individual scores and rankings for various demographic indices. The development index exhibited a rough fit with the mortality indices, especially life expectancy at birth. Mortality decline appears to be most closely related to rise in income. At the same income level, countries that have experienced substantial social change tend to exhibit the lowest mortality, presumably because of a loosening in family role patterns. In contrast, the relationship between development and fertility measures seemed to be almost random. A far closer correlation was noted between the former and the general development index. It is concluded that economic development alone will not reduce fertility. Needed are 2 changes: 1) profound social change in the family and in women's status, achievable through increases in female education, and 2) government family planning programs to ensure access to contraception.
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  17. 17

    Sex differentials in mortality.

    Lopez AD

    Who Chronicle. 1984; 38(5):217-24.

    As part of its regional strategy for attaining health for all, the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region seeks to reduce sex differentials in mortality. In developing countries, the health consequences of social, economic, and cultural discrimination against females have produced a higher mortality rate among females than males. In contrast, there is a trend toward increasing excess male mortality in the developed countries. The sex differential in mortality arises from 2 broad groups of causes: genetic-biological and enivronmental. In high mortality countries, environmental factors may reduce or cancel out the biological advantages that women enjoy over men. As mortality is reduced through improved nutrition, public health measures, and better health care and education, women's environmental disadvantage is reduced and genetic-biological factors may increase the female life span faster than that of males. In the 3rd phase of this process, life style factors (e.g. alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking) may become increasingly detrimental to male health and survival, leading female mortality to decline at a faster pace than that of males. Although males appear to have adapted less well than women to the stresses of modernization, there has been a trend toward high risk behavior patterns among women too as a result of the changing female role. Prospects for the future trend of sex differentials in developed societies depend largely on developments in 2 areas: the effective treatment of degenerative and chronic diseases, which dominate the cause-of-death structure in these societies; and prevention through health education and encouragement of changes in personal behavior and life style. The challenge for women is to resist pressures to adopt a hazardous life style (e.g. smoking) that might offset the benefits of their improved social status.
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  18. 18

    Statistics on children in UNICEF countries.


    New York, UNICEF, 1984 May. 280 p.

    The data in this set of 135 country profiles for 1981 are made up from 9 major sources and cover the countries and territories with which the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) cooperates. In terms of infant morttality, countries are divided into 5 infant mortality groups: a very high infant mortality (a) group of countries, with a 1981 infant mortality rate (IMR) estimate of 150 (rounded) or more deaths per 1000 live births; a very high infant mortality (b) group of countries with a 1981 IMR estimate between 110 (rounded) and 140 (rounded); a high infant mortality group of a middle infant mortality group of countries, with a 1981 IMR estimate of between 26 and 50 (rounded); and a low infnat mortality group of countries, with a 1981 IMR estimate of 25 or less. For each country data are also presented on nutrition, demographic, education, and economic indicators.
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  19. 19

    A crucial new direction for international family planning.

    Hosken FP

    Humanist. 1984 Jan-Feb; 44(1):5-8, 45.

    Women's needs and human rights have been ignored in the ongoing political debates on family planning. It is the right of each woman to have access to contraceptives and to the essential and crucial information about reproduction and her own body's fertility and sexuality. The basic human right of every individual to choose, to decide freely, based on biological and factual information, whether or not to have children, continues to be denied to very large numbers of women. The vast majority of women in the developing world have no such options. Environmentalists and population planners continue to evade the issue, despite the price paid for this omission: the failure of many family planning programs. The correlation between "development" and population control was internationally discussed for the 1st time at the UN World Population conference in Bucharest, but not 1 word was said to show the far more convincing and clearly visible correlation between the educational status of women and declines in population growth rates. These facts continue to be ignored even today by most population experts and their funding sources, especially the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In countries where women as a group have access to education, both population growth rates and infant mortality noticeably decline. In the East and West African countries visited by this individual, it appears that family planning is making no progress. This is the case despite the fact that more and more money is spent in Africa by international family planning organizations. The primary reason why population growth is not soaring in many African countries is because infant mortality is so high, about 50% in many countries. The reason why family planning is failing in Africa is because every African man seeks to confirm his ego and his manhood by fathering as many children as possible. Male sexuality is totally out of control, not female sexuality as claimed by proponents of female circumcision and genital mutilation. There is no hope for change in settings where women are illiterate and the chattel of men. International family planning organizations, although spending millions on family planning in Africa, have entirely ignored the facts. Polygamy, as well as the failure of men to face their responsibilities for their children, are nowhere even mentioned by the international family planning establishment as reasons for the burgeoning population growth rates. Family planning programs in Africa are still almost totally directed toward women, while men--the real cause of the population growth rates--are never made to face the reality of their obligations. International family planning organizations have failed to make the information about reproduction accessible in easily comprehensive form. The "Universal Childbirth Picture Books" have been found to be easily adaptable to all environments and all cultures and explain the basic, biological facts that are shared by women everywhere.
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  20. 20

    Population dynamics of rural Cameroon and its public health repercussions. A socio-demographic investigation of infertility in Mbandjock and Jakiri districts.

    Lantum DN

    Yaounde, Cameroon, Public Health Unit, Univ. Centre for Health Sciences, Univ. of Yaounde, 1979 Oct. 314 p.

    The preliminary findings of the Vital Statistics Survey Project, conducted under the auspices of the University of Yaounde in 2 rural districts of Cameroon in 1975-78, are reported. Vital statistics surveys were conducted in 20 villages in the Jakiri district and 3 villages in the Mbandjock district in 1976. Longitudinal surveys were conducted in 1976-77 and again in 1977-78 in Jakiri and in 1976-77 in Mbandjock. Jakiri's population is characterized by high fertility and high mortality. In contrast, Mbandjock shows low fertility and a stagnant or decreasing population trend. Data on factors related to fertility were collected from 3592 women in Jakiri and 251 women in Mbandjock. The crude birth rate in Jakiri was 37.5 livebirths/1000 population in 1976-77 and 27.5/1000 in 1977-78. In Mbandjock, the 1976-77 rates were 20.1, 31, and 12/1000 in the 3 villages surveyed. The average number of living children per woman was 2.67 in Jakiri and 1.55 in Mbandjock. 68.9% of Jakiro women and 79% of Mbandjock women ages 15-50 were currently married; however, the latter district is characterized by widespread marital instability. The average number of pregnancies per women was 3.1 in Jakiri and 2.67 in Mbandjock, with average child wastage ratios of 0.43 and 1.12, respectively. The infant mortality rate in Jakiri was 147/1000 livebirths in 1976-77 and 137/1000 in 1977-78. The rate in Mbandjock declined from 417/1000 livebirths in 1976 to 0 in 1977, a decrease attributed both to an effective measles campaign and the small sample size. The average desired family size was 9 in Jakiri and 6 in Mbandjock. Jakiri demonstrated a total infertility rate of 17%. The corresponding rates in the 3 Mbandjock villages were 48, 46, and 52%. The proportion of infertile women ages 20-29 was 18% in Jakiri and 22, 16, and 24% in the Mbandjock villages. According to the World Health Organization, a 15% infertility rate in this age group is the limit for declaring a serious public health problem. However, since Careroon authorities seem satisfied with the fertility situation in Jakiri, it is suggested that the limit be raised to 18%. Mbandjock, on the other hand, is considered to have a serious infertility problem. 4 recommendations are made to improve the health profile for this part of rural Cameroon: 1) family planning programs should be introduced in areas of population explosion; 2) health education campaigns should be directed against the high rates of communicable diseases and childhood immunization campaigns should be introduced; 3) nutrition education should be integrated into community development programs; and 4) vital statistics collection should be centrally supervised.
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