06 May 2010

What is World Population Day?

The world's population is at 6,6 billion, and counting. But what's all the fuss about World Population Day?

It’s an annual day marked throughout the world, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of population and socio-economic development.

It was established in 1987, when the world population reached 5 billion. It took only 12 more years, to 1999, before the world population passed the 6 billion mark.

At the moment, we’re heading towards 6.7 billion.

The central focus of the day is on commitment and action to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/Aids, and every person is treated with dignity and respect.

On top of this, each year has a theme. In 2007, it is Men as Partners in Maternal Health.

It’s still true today that women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Every mother who dies shatters a family and threatens the wellbeing of surviving children. A mother’s death is often the beginning of a family’s – even a community’s – downward spiral.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), very vocal in the drive to what they call “safe motherhood initiatives”, has made the calls for men to:

  • discourage early marriage,
  • promote girls' education,
  • foster equitable relationships, and
  • support women's reproductive health and rights.

If you’re unsure how you can assist your pregnant partner, we would like to direct you to our guide for dads-to-be, written by a father, for other fathers.

Our Pregnancy Hub is packed with useful info for pregnant couples, while our Child Zone contains must-read articles on parenting. And if you need a bit of support, you can always tap into our Pregnancy and Parenting talk forums, where other parents can help to address your concerns.

- (Health24, July 2007)

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