THERE is an undeniable link between economic growth and the practice of voluntary family planning, says United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reproductive health advisor Doctor Wame Baravilala.
"Greater access to family planning can improve the wellbeing of women, men, children, their households and communities by increasing life expectancy, decreasing morbidity and improving health more broadly," he said while addressing stakeholders attending the inaugural conference on Repositioning Family Planning in Fiji held at Vuda, Viseisei.
"It increases opportunities to invest in schooling and other forms of human capital and to participate in labour markets, increasing productivity and raising income, savings, investment and asset accumulation."
Participants were told a household's lower fertility meant an outcome of improved health.
Decreased mortality, he said, allowed greater investment in human capital and thus greater participation in the labour force.
This inevitably led to an increased income and savings level and the capacity to improve one's livelihood.
"When we speak of the population pyramid, fertility decline will initially reduce the percentage of the youth in a population but then a relative size of working population increases and leads to a decrease in the dependent population and this then leads to favourable conditions for economic development."