22 Oct 2008

Families, communities and Government called on to work together to solve PNG population woes

5:22 pm on 22 October 2008

A family planning advisor says a partnership is what is needed to cut population growth in Papua New Guinea.

PNG's Health Minister, Sasa Zibe, says the population will double in the next 25 years while Government services are already unable to cope.

He is advocating a return to traditional approaches to family planning, encouraging condom use and promising new approaches by the Government.

Joanna Spratt, who heads the New Zealand based Family Planning International, says the role of Government in providing services and education is key, but the solution lies very much in a partnership.

"It's about families talking amongst themselves about how many children can we have, how many children do we want to have, how many children can we provide for, and it is about communities coming together and having that conversation and having leaders make calls for it - do we have the water in this community to provide for X number of children and such and such, and then it is about translating that into the higher levels and so that the state ensures there's the information and services there that can support those choices that communities make."