Essay country managing population change

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Essay country managing population change

  1. 1. With reference to a named country, evaluate attempts to manage population change. (15) In 1970, Thailand had a population of around 26.4 million, but a fertility rate of 6.5. This, alongside improved healthcare to which contributed to a lessening death rate, meant that population growth was around 3.2%. The contraception use stood approximately at 15% which had a clear correlation with the high fertility rates. This also had an impact on the wealth of the country, as a youthful population requires money for resources such as education, and can lead to unemployment as people compete for jobs. The GNP was at around 110 US$. In this sense, Thailand was becoming overpopulated; there were too many people for the resources available which was leading to unsustainable living. MechaiViravaidya was at the heart of Thailand’s population control. He set up the Population Development Agency to try and lower the fertility rates. This campaign was exhaustive, and was primarily focused on promoting contraception amongst the Thai people. As explained on his TED talk, Mechai tells us that he ensured that the pill and condoms were available over the counter at shops, even on the floating markets. This meant that all could get hold of contraception, even if you aren’t in close proximity to a doctor. He pushed contraceptive education across the country’s schools and ensured that rural and urban communities had access to this. Vasectomies became the most common form of contraception and free vasectomies were even offered on the King’s birthday. Moreover, economic incentives to use contraception were very popular with loans being awarded to those who practise family planning. Arguably, it was the openness of the Thai people to new ideas, and the Buddhist endorsement of contraception which allowed the campaign to be successful, particularly as Thailand is a 95% Buddhist population. Mechai’s campaign was arguably very successful as by 1999 contraception use was at around 72% and the fertility rate had dropped below replacement level to 1.7. Although the population had soared by this point to 66.6million, this is now expected to drop. Moreover, when AIDS hit Thailand, the Mr Condom campaign was introduced which lowered the AIDS prevalence to only 1.4% by 2007. This has arguably saved 7.7million lives. However, it has been criticised on the grounds that Thailand’s sex tourism had declined by 4million dollars due to the publicised link. On the other hand, Mechai maintained that he had helped save the commercial sex trade as he ensured safe sex was practised which meant customers would not leave infected.

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