Former Kiribati President joins in call for smaller families

A former Kiribati president says he is supporting smaller families and is taking the message around the capital Tarawa.

Sir Ieremia Tabai, who is the chairman of the committee campaigning for smaller families, is encouraging the people of Kiribati to have two or three children.

As overcrowding and unemployment in Tarawa and Betio are serious problems, Sir Ieremia says bigger families are also affecting the health of women and their children.

In July Dr Laurent Zessler, the head of the United Nations Population Fund in the Pacific, had talks with the government of Kiribati and said progress was being made on tackling the issue.

He says despite some opposition to family planning efforts by the Catholic church there have been positive developments.

“Different religious groups, including the Catholic church, understand that this population growth, rapid population growth, is very worrisome for the future of Kiribati.

“I would say that in practical terms there is an understanding, there is not opposition that would impair the government to carry out the activities related to better access to contraceptives.”

Last year Kiribati  Bishop Paul Mea said women in Kiribati have no right to use birth control pills, saying in Catholicism God is put ahead of everything


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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