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'Young and their Reproductive Health' - Theme of World Population Day

Each year, the eleventh of July is celebrated the world over as the World Population Day. It began as a celebration by the United Nations Population Fund in 1988, to mark the occasion of the world population hitting the 5 billion mark. //

The aim of the day is to draw attention to issues related to population and the importance of resolving these issues. It also helps to focus on the impact of the growing population on developmental plans and the ensuing overall progress.

According to an UN estimate, the world population stood at 6.06 billion in the year 2000. It has however been increasing steadily at the rate of 78 million per year. Statistics predict that there will be between 7.3 billion to 10.7 billion people on planet earth by the year 2050.

Although population growth has eased world wide, 90% of the current growth is largely confined to developing countries where the needs of the people far outweigh the resources. These countries also have a huge unmet requirement for family planning services, which has failed to be addressed.

This year the United Nations has decided to focus on the 'Young and their Reproductive Health', as the youth of today hold the key to epoch- making changes in all aspects of sustainable development. The critical role of reproductive health in development was acknowledged by leaders at the World Summit, last year.Nearly half of the world's population is below the age of 25 years, of which nearly three billion will soon be of the reproductive age. Easy access to reproductive health, including family planning, adequate pregnancy care, measures to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and tackling AIDS/HIV, are some issues that need to be countered to ensure a better future for these young people.

Reproductive health problems are identified as the leading cause of death in women belonging to developing countries. 600,000 women die every year due to pregnancy - related causes while 90% of infant
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