Population growth impacts access to health care

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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with ministry of planning, has released the Lesotho Population Projections which – based on the 2016 census – estimate the country’s population in 2036.

The projections also highlight the importance of being counted for Basotho’s health and their access to health care.

The principal secretary of the ministry of planning Nthoateng Lebona said some of the factors contributing to high population in Lesotho are fertility, as well as external and internal migrations.

She indicated that if things like fertility were managed Lesotho would not see such high population growth and there would be less poverty in the country.

“I want to advise Basotho to work with us when it comes to conducting censuses because it is important to us all so that when there is a certain disease we know who we are treating and how many people we are treating,” she said.

Projections suggest that the effect of declining fertility reflected in the population pyramids – as fertility declines – changes from a broad-based to a beehive shape.

The projections further state that there is a gradual increase of population in the labour force due to observed improvement in life experiences. The highly urbanized districts will continue gaining populations.

At the same occasion, UNFPA representative Marc Derveeuw indicated that census is not only about counting people, but should also be able to make projections that can help in the long run to see how many people need help in certain problems that a country might face.

“The population that we have now will be able to tell us for the next coming years before another census how many people should be treated for certain diseases and how many people are affected by a certain illness,” Derveeuw said.

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