Birth control need for well-beingPopulation and health are linked [Archives:2004/783/Health]

October 21 2004

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
The rapid population growth has harmful influences on health, the environment and development. The deterioration of health usually leads to the loss of productive energy quantitatively and qualitatively.
At the human level, it leaves tragedies and ailments affecting the health of the family and the society. The health situation is the main reason for diseases and death cases.
Meanwhile, the population growth, from which Yemen suffer, plays a negative role in the downing of the health services and the spread of infectious diseases. It also negatively contributes to the deterioration of the Yemeni environment that experiences a high fertility rate (7,7 births per woman).
Children under the age of 15 constitute 50 percent of the overall population, the economic and cognitive levels go down and the shortage of natural resources and water adds to the miserable situation. Early and short-interval pregnancy is remarkable nationwide.

Population and health interact
The controversial relationship and interaction between population and health can be clearly seen from the following two reasons:
1) The rapid population growth caused by the high fertility rate, which increases the pressure over the health services and negatively affects health care,
2) The density of population results in the terrible spread of infectious diseases and epidemics as well as the pollution of the environment.
In addition, the recurrent and early pregnancy cases within short intervals are responsible for fatal diseases and mortalities and the hierarchy of population ages indicates the quality of health services required for the society. Health its influence upon the population growth, as good health care contributes to the decrease of mortalities, and birth control helps in the control of population growth on the other.

Health in Yemen
Health care witnessed progress in the last few decades and led to proportional decrease of mortalities. The mortality rate among newly born infants went down to 81 cases per thousand in the 1990s, however the 1960s saw a negative rate reaching the 230 cases per thousand.
The mortality rate of infants under five went down to 100 cases per thousand in 1994,while it was 340 death cases in the beginning of the sixties.
The population increase and the shortage of health-related resources, which does not exceed 4 percent of the State general budget and the individual's share of medicine does not exceed YR 10, make the health situation more difficult to improve. Physicians are not proportionally distributed all over the parts of Yemen.
We could realize that 74% of the total physicians throughout the republic are holding careers in the main cities Sana'a, Aden and Taiz, whereas 26 percent of them work in the remaining areas.
Regarding the specialized physicians, we perceive that 79 percent of them are in the three main cities and 21% in other places.
Finally, planning and proposing strategies to serve the reality of health in Yemen, call for adopting serious steps in the medical field.