Pandemic And Population Issue Of Pakistan

The current world population is 7.8 billion as of June 2020 according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometer.

By Prof. Dr Abdullah G Arijo

The total dry land area is 148.94 million sq. km. The population density stands at 14.7 people per square kilometres, whereas the recommended limit is 50-100 people per square kilometres, however, Pakistan’s population density is many folds higher at 287 people per square kilometres.

Pakistan covers an area of 881,913 km2, which is approximately equal to the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. Area-wise, Pakistan is the 33rd largest nation in the world, and population-wise Pakistan stands at 6th populous country in the world. The population density of Pakistan has been increasing as a trend at an alarming rate. In 2018, population density for Pakistan was 275.3 people per square kilometres. The current population of Pakistan is 220,450,694 as of Wednesday, May 27, 2020, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, with the population density in Pakistan of 287 people per square kilometres.

The population of Pakistan has been increasing, and if it continues to grow at the same pace, it will be ranked fourth highly populated country by 2030.

Is the world running out of room? Earth’s population could reach 11 billion by 2100. Are we pushing the planet to breaking point? Or are fears of overpopulation overstated?

Over the last half-century, the population of the world has exploded unexpectedly. This trend is increasing in ascending order; hence it is believed that the current population which is over seven million people on the planet is projected to grow in a short period. With an increase in population, humans must face the music which shall be very hard and fast and dancing to the tune will vanish humans.

If one would enlist problems human beings are subjected to, of all the environmental challenges facing the planet today overpopulation is one that sometimes slips under the radar. Issues like pollution, climate change and water shortages all seem to take preference, but overpopulation is one of the main contributors to many other environmental issues.

Overpopulation is believed to be caused by Poverty as the leading factor. Besides, poor contraceptive use, child labour, reduced mortality rates due to better health facilities as compared to all yesteryears, fertility treatment, immigration, lower life expectancy also contribute towards overpopulation.

But the alarming situation that no one ever expected has come as a major factor we can hardly ignore. according to a report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 29 million babies will be born in South Asia in the nine months after the Covid-19 outbreak was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), while five million births are expected to take place in Pakistan, which already has overpopulation with poor resources required for existing number.  The report released on May 6 has predicted that an estimated 116 million babies will be born across the world in the 40 weeks between March 11 and December 16, with almost a quarter of them in South Asia.

India is expected to report 20 million births, the highest in the region, during this period, the report said, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh (2.4 million) and Afghanistan (one million).

This overpopulation is attributed to COVID pandemic which has compelled states to opt for lockdown as compulsory measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown provides an intimacy between male and female resulting in uncontrolled conception.  “UNICEF cautions that although evidence suggests that pregnant mothers are not more affected by Covid-19 than others, countries need to ensure they still have access to antenatal, delivery and post-natal services.

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Pakistan is a country where diversified perceptions prevail to the level of belief. At the start of married life, the couple keeps adding into their families without realizing that mere childbirth is not a credit. Every soul that get entry into this world demands a lot of responsibilities, which parents never realize. Often, many people did not even bother to plan their families while in developing countries desire to have a male child was yet another cause of overpopulation. Besides, low-quality services and unavailability of stock of contraceptives led to poor family planning.

Experts say incorrect perceptions and unfounded worries regarding family planning might be significant barriers in controlling the growing population. And the intimacy that lockdown provides an opportunity to unwillingly increase in population.

Overpopulation is an undesirable condition where the number of the existing human population exceeds the carrying capacity of Earth. Overpopulation is caused by several factors. Reduced mortality rate, better medical facilities, depletion of precious resources are few of the causes which result in overpopulation. A sparsely populated area can become densely populated if it is not able to sustain life. The effects of overpopulation are quite severe. The first of these is the depletion of resources. The Earth can only produce a limited amount of water and food, which is falling short of the current needs.

As the population of this world is growing at a rapid pace, raising awareness among people regarding family planning and letting them know about serious after-effects of overpopulation can help curb population growth.

Overpopulation can mean more resources are needed by a population, but also more waste is produced, and there are more pollution and environmental degradation as a flow-on result. As a few examples … an increasing population might mean more water is required for food/agriculture and energy production in the future, more waste such as plastic is generated, and there is more water pollution, air pollution, soil/land pollution and general waste and environmental pollution

One of the best ways is to let them know about various safe sex techniques and contraceptives methods available to avoid any unwanted pregnancy. The country like Pakistan must launch mass-counselling programs to educate masses to think over effective family planning.

Author: Prof. Dr Abdullah G Arijo Chairman Department of Parasitology Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam

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