22 Oct 2008

PNG to develop new policies to curb birth rate

2:36 pm on 22 October 2008

The Health Minister of Papua New Guinea says his Government will have to come up with policies to try and cut the birth rate, which he calls frightening.

Sasa Zibe says the country's birth rate, the highest in the Pacific at 2.7 percent, will double the population in 25 years.

He says the pressure on Government services is enormous with current structures unable to cope.

Mr Zibe says he wants to encourage condom use and a return to traditional forms of contraception, but he says the Government will also be developing policies to try and reduce family size.

"Just looking at the growth rate I am very scared about this as a Minister responsible for health, family planning and so forth, so therefore we have to find some means and ways to try to, or with the Government policy, to restrict the population growth, you know."

Sasa Zibe