This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Gates Foundation Works to Prevents Early Deaths--What About Preventing Births?

Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann is CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and today she put out an online newsletter helping the public understand what they do. You cannot fault the work of the Foundation in terms of trying to prevent illness and early death around the world. But we have to remember that the world explosion in population size is a result of declining death rates that have not been matched by declines in the birth rate. If you go to Dr. Desmond-Hellman's letter, you will find an opportunity to send comments. My comment was as follows:
You folks do incredible and important work helping to save lives and I applaud you tremendously for those efforts. But remember that for each life saved, the planet needs to have one less baby born. Giving women throughout the world access to methods of reproductive control is incredibly important. I have the impression that the Gates Foundation does some of this and perhaps you don't need to highlight it in your letter, but some reassurances to those of us in the population health community would be nice.
I encourage you to write something similar. We want them to continue their current work, but to also continue supporting every possible effort to provide women with means of fertility control. We know that Melinda Gates is generally in support of this, as I have noted before, but this is too important to just take for granted.

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