A reality: The population in Yemen [Archives:2006/964/Reportage]

July 17 2006

By: Ismail Al-Ghabri
The UN populations' report for 2005 has confirmed a reality: the population in Yemen provokes worries and fears, despite recent steps and new programs aimed at controlling population growth by all possible means that include birth control, female education, and creating awareness to better hygienic conditions for mothers and children.

The recent census shows about twenty million live in Yemen and will steadily grow to 45 million by the year 2050, the report speculates, as well as indicates that demographic growth in Yemen multiplied 2004. The main factors behind this are the rather high fertility rate among females currently between 2 to 6 per female, and the population growth rate estimated as 3.2%.

The second reason for this tremendous growth of population in Yemen lurks behind the overwhelming rates of illiteracy amid females at 69.1% versus 27.3% among males. This educational gap between men and women necessitates that a more strategic plan to implement seriously needed measures to bridge this gap. Women's education would dramatically help in meeting demographic monitoring policies.

Such strategies must coincide with other factors such as birth and pregnancy health measures. It is estimated that the World has about 250 million lives as a result of birth and early pregnancy deaths.

In Yemen, the current rate of population increase is considered a major challenge in the face of development for the country, although some don't consider it a serious factor. The matter, however, does require more concerted efforts and cooperation between concerned parties.

The economic aspect of this situation in our country is of technical nature in the sense that the rate of the underage, and those who are incapable to work reaches 47% and this means the rate of the needy for support exceeds 400%. This puts a heavy burden on the new generation.

The UN has launched this year a warning campaign to raise awareness among various nations on health related problems and their hidden dangers. The report states a woman's health can be threatened by numerous births and related complications. In Yemen, health complications caused by early age pregnancy and back to back birthing are the main causes of deterioration in a woman's health and subsequent deaths.

A rate of %42 out of total females deaths are linked to the repercussions of early age pregnancy and delivery with the number of mothers who have died as result of this reason range between 4900 and 5500 cases. In addition, within each death case of those previously mentioned, there are at least twenty reported cases of women who have been seriously harmed. This means that the total number of deaths, in addition to those mothers who were extremely harmed is estimated between 9,800 to11,000 cases.

Consequently, maternal death or disability cases will certainly affect the life of kids and bring about a tragic situation over the course of their upbringing. Kids will suffer malnutrition, bodily functional disorders, and other possible psychological and health problems.

The family as a whole will suffer also as a result of the unhealthy growth of kids and will spend much more on medications. Such a child, when he grows up in that way, might not be of much help in bettering the family's economic conditions.

The population report as such, has highlighted influential factors such as illiteracy, maternal health, and economic impact in relations to the population's growth in the country.