VANUATU STRUGGLES WITH BABY BOOM

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 10) - A baby boom is occurring in Vanuatu.

Some 188 babies were born in Vila Central Hospital during the month of September, which sets a new monthly record of births.

Vanuatu has one of the fastest growing populations in the world with a current growth rate of 2.8 percent per annum.

The September record does not represent all monthly births in Port Vila or the national monthly rate, as most births take place in rural areas.

The boom is putting a strain on the hospital at peak times and mothers and their newborns must sleep on the floor.

Officials say there is also a shortage of midwives.

December 10, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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