21 Oct 2008

PNG population to double in 25 years

1:13 pm on 21 October 2008

Papua New Guinea's Health Minister, Sasa Zibe, says his country's population will double in the next 25 years unless efforts are made to reduce family size.

He says the rapid population increase is hampering economic growth and is one of the main causes of social problems facing the country.

Mr Zibe is quoted by the Post Courier newspaper as saying the population is growing at 2.7 percent a year, the highest in the Pacific.

He says the growth is outstripping the services government is able to provide.

Mr Zibe says, for instance, that the two major hospitals, Port Moresby and Angau in Lae, cannot cope with the growing demand for their services.

He says people always tend to blame the government for not providing basic services but the fact is parents are the real cause of the problems.

Mr Zibe says people must now look at family planning methods and the use of condoms to put a halt to the population growth.