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Zambian women too fertile


HERE is a fact – women in Zambia are still likely to live considerably longer than men. The life expectancy for men in Zambia stands at 62 percent while for women it is at 68, which is about 10 years less than the global average. But there is a double-edged case for Zambian women in terms of fertility – their rate is at 4.4 percent compared to the world’s average of 2.4 percent. “In other words, in Zambia a woman, on average, will have those 4.4 children in her lifetime, whereas in America or Japan, the woman will only have 2.2,” obstetrician and gynaecologist Bellington Vwalika said following the launch of the State of the World Population 2022 and commemoration of the 2022 World Population Day yesterday. “The issue there is that this 4.4, some people quote a figure higher than that, it is one of the highest in the world.” Professor Vwalika has called for the use of contraceptives in the wake of a growing population. He said Zambians should be wary of the number of children they intend to have in the wake of the country’s higher fertility rate. Prof Vwalika said with a high fertility rate, the result is a big population. “A big population is a driver for poverty, so whereas the population is growing or is big in Zambia, resources are not increasing,” he said. “So, we will end up having problems of a lot of children who cannot go to school, who cannot be provided for. You might say there is CLICK TO READ TO READ MORE