Bangladeshi families shrink
Friday 04 March 1994
Yet Bangladesh, through a combination of smart government planning and massive infusions of foreign aid and expertise, is finally managing to slow down its once staggering rate of population growth. In a nation battered by cyclones, famines and droughts, this is a rare piece of good news.
The Health Minister, Kamal Ibne Yusuf Chowdhury, said: 'It is a success story. Usually family planning works only in affluent, educated countries. We've defied the experts.' Bangladesh still has far to go: 20 years ago, the average family had seven children; today it has just over four.
In Bangladesh three strangers think nothing of sharing a vacant chair; families of five can be seen balanced on motor scooters. Bus drivers often cannot see the road ahead for all the passengers riding on the bonnet and need a man on the roof to shout 'Left]' or 'Right]' to warn of bends.
The 1991 cyclone, which killed at least 130,000 people, took such a huge toll because pressure on land had forced millions to live in dangerously low-lying areas by the sea.
One major breakthrough was persuading Bangladesh's conservative Muslim clergy that without family planning the country, which already has a population of 120 million, would be swamped with more people than it could stand. More than 50,000 social workers distribute free contraceptives and explaintheir use.
Bangladesh, where 70 per cent of the population already live in poverty, hopes to reach a goal of 2.2 children per family by 2005. The consequences will be dire if it fails.
Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£90 - £140 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Sixth for...
£95 - £105 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Plymouth i...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer -...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer ...