South Africa: Reproductive health key to population development - MEC
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 11 Jul 2012
Title: Reproductive health key to population development - MEC
By Silas Nduvheni
Thohoyandou - Limpopo Health and Social Development MEC Dr Norman Mabasa has urged women to undergo tests in order to curb illnesses that threaten their reproductive health.
Mabasa was addressing the Population Association of Southern Africa (PASA) conference at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, on Wednesday. The event was held to mark World Population Day.
"People should be screened for ... diseases that prevail and affect their reproductive health such as cancer of their cervix, amongst others," Mabasa told community members, academics and students from various universities.
The MEC said it was also important for both men and women to take charge of their sexual health. He urged people to make use of male and female condoms, not only as contraceptives, but also for the prevention of HIV and Aids.
Mabasa said the life expectancy of South Africans was below 60 years.
On 31 October 2011, the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects projected the world population to have reached seven billion.
The World Population Day and PASA conference, which started on Wednesday and will end on Friday, is aimed at raising awareness of global population figures and developmental issues. The theme for this year's conference is "Universal access to reproductive health services".
Mabasa said the theme reflected the impact of intimate or sexual relationships, which contribute to reproduction.
Under the theme, communities are encouraged to discuss the negotiation and decision-making processes within sexual relationships and interactions with health providers regarding contraceptive methods and other options.
"The projections reminded us that it is vital to create opportunities for young people who constitute a majority, invest the resources to enable women and men to have the means to exercise their human rights, live longer healthier lives, reduce inequities and find ways to ensure the wellbeing of people alive today as well as the generations to follow," Mabasa added.
The MEC said the government was working tirelessly to ensure that the status of women is improved, specifically rural women. He the government was also making sure that poverty is reduced and that young people are provided with the skills to better their lives in future.
He stated that the National Population and Development Unit had identified priority areas of focus for its operations in the next five years, which include HIV and Aids, Youth Development, Gender and Local Population Trends.
"These concerns are possible if we work in an integrated manner," said Mabasa.
In her message, PASA President Thandi Hlabane said as an intellectual scientific body, their responsibility was to promote democracy and population research and impact in the lives of communities.
PASA is a regional and scientific body that constitute academics, researchers, policy makers, and programme and project developers.
"Our organisation is addressing the issue of reproductive health in young people, elders and we also advise them on how best to measure their efforts to address the issue of reproductive health," said Hlabane.
Provincial Social Development Department spokesperson Phuti Seloba said Limpopo's population was estimated at 5.6 million.
Seloba said the May 2012 Quarterly Labour Force Survey estimated unemployment levels in Limpopo at 21.9% compared to 25.2% nationally. - SAnews.gov.za
Reported by: South African Government News Service
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