The “Day of 8bn”, officially marked on 15th November 2022, is a milestone moment for humanity, according to the UN Population Fund, and “a testament to scientific breakthroughs and improvements in nutrition, public health and sanitation”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. However, it comes with worsening economic inequality and environmental damage. “Unless we bridge the yawning chasm between the global haves and have-nots, we are setting ourselves up for an 8bn-strong world filled with tensions and mistrust, crisis and conflict,” warned Guterres. Whether populations are growing or shrinking, every country must be equipped to provide good quality of life and lift up the most marginalised citizens. “We cannot rely on one-size-fits-all solutions in a world in which the median age is 41 in Europe, compared to 17 in sub-Saharan Africa,” noted UNFPA Chief, Natalia Kanem. “To succeed, all population policies must have reproductive rights at their core, invest in people and planet, and be based on solid data.”
UN data indicates that the global fertility rate is now at 2.3 (down from 3.3 in 1990) and getting close to the “replacement rate” of 2.1, at which point the global population will stabilise (projected to be at some point between 2080 and 2100) and then decline. In the meantime, Africa is projected by the UN to drive half of the world’s population growth in the next 40 years, while India and Pakistan are projected to drive population growth in Asia.
Nicholas Hall Writes: So, as of last Tuesday there are 8bn of us on this tiny planet, a mixture of the comparatively wealthy and those who struggle; the enlightened and those who suffer from dictators with a big stick and a stone age mentality; and those who want to be more healthy. Eleven years ago, there were 7bn of us, and some experts are taking comfort from the fact that it will take 15 years before we become 9bn. And apparently our population will peak at 10.4bn sometime in the 2080s, always assuming that Dr Strangelove in Moscow doesn’t push the red button.
Actually, the topic of better health is one of the few with which we are almost all agreed, but it is a decades-old story of more people chasing increasingly-scarcer resources. Despite the amazing breakthroughs in new ways of treating serious diseases, self-care still has the potential to deliver more benefits to more people than any other component of the global healthcare system. Self-care is more than just OTC, of course, and improved lifestyle has a massive role to play if we can encourage more exercise, better diet and a cleaner environment. But our pills in bottles, tablets in strips, creams in tubes have so much more to offer in terms of raising standards of public health – if we can only get the message across.
Explore the factors impacting CHC across Asia during our Asia-Pacific e-Conference, taking place online this week! The event will also include the presentation of our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award. There is still time to confirm your participation – for more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com without delay.