Overpopulation a Bigger Threat Than Aids

Never mind HIV/Aids, Africa is likely to remain poverty-stricken if better family planning is not practised. This is the opinion of John Cleland from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Steven Sinding from the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

In the medical journal The Lancet they state that they do not share the United Nation's view that Africa's birth rate will decrease in future. They give four reasons for their doubt, namely Africans still desire large families, married women in western and middle Africa are not keen on birth control, less international funding is being given to family planning programmes in Africa and African governments with "fragile governments" are unlikely to help spread family planning information.

Prof Cleland still believes that HIV prevention should be a major public health priority, but feels that population growth will increasingly threaten food security in Africa, making long-term dependence on international assistance more likely.

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