Monday, October 1, 2007

From 20:80 to 2025...

-Found this in the local Swazi newspaper this morning...I did the math, and it seems like I wont exist after 2025. Hehe, no worries. I definitely plan for this NOT to happen. :-)

No Swazi adults by 2025!


MATSAPHA – The National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) has urged government to act quickly on HIV and AIDS as it is predicted that by 2025, Swaziland will have much fewer adults over 35. A study has found that the structure of the population will change, leaving fewer older women and men and a much younger nation because the older people are dying.

It was announced on Thursday that provisional 2007 Swaziland Population and Housing Census results showed that the total population of Swaziland was now 953 524 people.

In 1997, the total population was 929 718 people.

Out of the slightly more than 953 000 people, the census results show that at least 493 026 are female. Only 460 498 are men.

NERCHA director Derek von Wissell said Swaziland’s position on population was an incredible one because too many men and often the wrong ones were dying.

He made the observations at the S and B Restaurant when he briefed the parliament Select Committee on HIV/AIDS on Friday. He said it was disheartening that the life expectancy of many a Swazi had dropped to 31 from 61 years in the last five years.

He noted that the country was above the emergency threshold, describing the situation as a disaster. He said there was no doubt that the HIV and AIDS pandemic was the major contributing factor and that more was needed to combat the scourge in the country.

He said the cases of Tuberculosis (TB) have increased, stating that it had also remained the biggest challenge for the country’s health sector. “There will be few people over the ages of 35 left by the year 2025 in Swaziland, especially the men. If there are more women now, they should start moving into management positions. But this is a disaster for the country because too many men and the wrong ones are dying,” von Wissell said.

He further observed that while Swaziland was rated a lower middle income country, it was shocking that 80 per cent of the population was living in abject poverty.

He said Malawi and Zambia were lower income countries yet the poverty levels were not as high as Swaziland.

“Only 20 per cent of the people of Swaziland are very rich and the largest part of the population is living below the poverty datum line. Most people in this country have since stopped skipping meals but they stay for a day before they could have one. They eat one meal after every other day,” he said.

In a separate interview, he explained that the United States Census Bureau the forecast.

He said they noted that without antiretroviral drugs the adult population would be greatly reduced, especially the over the ages of 30 to 35 leaving much fewer men over the age of 35.