9/10/99, BBC2

Six Billion and Counting

With the human population of the planet reaching six billion this week, this world affairs documentary presented four different elements of the birth control problem. In India the population is soaring despite poverty (reaching one billion). A report from a provincial hospital argued that one cause is the preference for male children. While many wives would be happy to be sterilised after a few children, most husbands refuse to give consent. In Georgia, USA teenage pregnancies are on the increase but clinics which give advice and contraceptives to teenagers are villified by local preachers with staff ostracised and threatened by the community. In the Gaza Strip, there is also a population explosion - partly because men see large families as a symbol of their manhood but mostly because of the wish to build a strong palestinian nation. Lastly Italy has the opposite problem, birth-rates are radically falling possibly due to a love for fashion and the good life. ****

[Country Tracks - Don't Try This At Home - Eastenders - Emmerdale]

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