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Population Growth & Variation among Nations

Population Growth : The rapid growth of human population is mainly as a result of rising food supply. Beginning of agriculture and domestication of animals marked the first step of mankind towards a civilized society. During the period from birth of Christ to 1800 AD there was refinement in agricultural technology and the rising human population was limited by expansion of agriculture over the forested land. On the other hand, the population was limited by high mortality rate due to famine, diseases and wars from 18th century onwards immunization, antibodies and insecticides eased the presence of heavy mortality. Life expectancy has been increased during the current century which has resulted in a spectacular rise in human population during 20th century. As per estimate population growth predicts a population of 8.2 billion in the year 2025 AD and more than 10 billion by 2025 AD. The exponential growth of human population in certain countries including India does not mean that resources are unlimited. It is the remarkable advances made in medicine and technology which have brought down human death rate to greater extent. A habitat cannot support any population beyond a certain limit. If the population goes beyond that limit resource limited shows it a adverse effects on the population by increasing death rates and decreasing birth rates, which eventually will lead to a decline in population density. The maximum number of individuals of population that its environment can support and sustain is called the carrying capacity. As the population increases in size, there will be more competition for the available space and food which in turn will affect population growth. Exponential Growth : When the population increases in such a way that increases in the fixed proportion of its own size at any time, its growth is said to be exponential. The number of children born in a population will normally increase proportionally with the number of people, or size of the population. Thus, population grows exponentially. As the size becomes bigger, the increase also becomes larger. Thus, the actual increase will depend on 1) rate of increase in proportion to its size and 2) its own size at the time. Variations among Nations :

The population growth rates vary from nation to nation, some nation show very high growth rates above 3 per cent. On the other hand some nations are not growing at all and few have declining population. In America, the growth rate is about 2.5% as compared to 1 per cent in the developed countries. Their differences are important in terms of the population added per year. The population growth of the developed nations of Europe and North America are characterized as follows: (1) Along with other nations, they have long history of very slow growth over thousand of year during which time the birth rate and the death rate must be approximately equal. (2) The death rates decreased due to better sanitation and health care. (3) Within a few decades, their birth rate also began to decline resulting in a decrease in the rate of population growth. Such a decrease, first in the death rates resulting in increased growth rate. On the other hand, the less developed countries did not begin to benefit from better health care sanitation until after the Second World War. Since then the death rates have sharply declined but their rates have not decreased. Accordingly the growth rates have increased to above 2% and 3% in some cases

Environment and Human Health


Health depends on the environment in which one is born and brought up. Environment can be both a causes as cure of many diseases. In the context of health and disease environment may be divided under two headings (i) (ii) External environment and Internal environment factors like air, water, earth and its various products etc. comprise the external environment whereas the blood with various components that includes in our body, hormones, our emotions constitute what we call internal environment.

Earth's surface and the environment surrounding is important to human health. The nature of soil, water, air, temperature, wind, cloud, rainfall, humidity etc. determines man's health and welfare. Pollution of the environment result from a wide range of human activities: uncontrolled disposal of human excreta and refuge, industrial discharges, smoke from coal or oil burning, fumes from motor vehicles, misuses or overuse of insecticides and fertilizers. Population explosion, results in malnutrition, over consumption of food causes obesity, diabetes and dental decay. In both rural and urban areas of developing countries, the age old issues of access to safe water, poor domestic hygiene and dependence on traditional low grade fuels for cooking and heating continue to pose particular problems to the health of under privileged women. Rapid urbanization exposes women to other hazard in addition, such as inadequate housing, exploitative and employment. Exposures of women to pesticides and other toxins has not been addressed in depth. Industrial expansion results into congestion. The pressure is building up on big cities in developed world. But the process is more complicated in third world countries. Congestion of cities leads primarily to air and water pollution that are starting points for many diseases. Due to congestion, the quality of air and water is greatly affected. It is expected that in a decade or so, India would become increasingly industrial and there would be more people (about 75%) in urban areas. Slum settlements arise in metropolitan cities due to acute shortage of housing. Due to influx of rural poor in to urban areas in search of job, are not able to find a dwelling. The dwelling has no civic facilities of water supplies, drainage, roads, transport etc. which leads to many social evils and ill health. Slums are not only overcrowded but created social complications and health problems. Slum dwellers face environmental, health, educational and cultural problems. Since there are no basic amenities of drinking water, sewage, bathrooms and latrines, there develop health hazards not only in slum dwellers but other people of urban areas.

The situation today is that more than one thousand million people-are trapped in the vicious circle of poverty disease, malnutrition. The environmental component in communicable diseases such as, malaria, filariasis, trypanosomiasis, and the efforts to control these diseases through environmental interventions have come for considerable attention. But the large sale use of pesticides to protect crops and kill disease carrying insects and the increasing use, particularly in developing countries of growth promoting substances have led to increasing concern about chronic toxic effects in human beings. Apart from direct health effects of cooking fuels used by the poor these are indications that the growing scarcity of cooking affects the health of the poor in several indirect ways. With the advance of civilization have come rising population, overcrowded cities and towns, choking the environmental sanitation. Industrial growth has contributed to all round pollution and so has done by various sources of energy production e.g. petrol, coal, nuclear material. The increasing use of chemical substances in the fields, factories and homes has added to the dangers of man's environment. Provisions of basic sanitary measures, especially the safe water supply and disposal of human excreta and other wastes are a top priority. The lack of basic environmental health, facilities and resultant cost in terms of sickness, health the world economic growth cannot be ignored. The study of man's relationship with the various elements in the surroundings and the use of knowledge to prevent disease and promote health is presently is top priority.

Dangers of Smoking
Smoking is the term that is generally defined in context of inhaling tobacco when it is burnt. It is practiced in several forms, viz. Cigarette, Cigar, Hookahs, Bidi, vaporizers etc. It is a known fact since long times that smoking is injurious to health. This is even clearly embedded on the commercial packs containing cigarettes etc. But despite the warning there is no reduction in the sales of cigarettes in the society. On the contrary, an up rise in consumption of number of cigarettes has been noticed. Here cigarette smoking is emphasised; the reason being that it is the most common practice of inhaling tobacco smoke in the masses. Everyone seems to be aware of the fact that smoking causes lung cancer. But it hardly matters to those who smoke. As the disease occurs after due course of time, it leads to a state of helplessness. By the time the disease is diagnosed it has already done sufficient damage to the lung tissues and other systemic organs of the body. In a report published in the yare 2007 it was stated that about more than 4 million people die due to smoking. This statistics are proof enough to highlight the effects of smoking. Smoking regularly decreases the life span of an individual by 7-8 years. Current health report warns against the surge in premature death of individuals in the industrialised countries. Men are affected more as compared to women only due to the factor that they inhale more smoke as compared to their counter parts. Smoking may lead to development of various cardiovascular diseases. These diseases are related to heart and the supplying blood vessels. Smoking affects the functioning of heart in various ways. The foremost is that it paves way for the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This leads to hampered supply of blood to the heart and results in various severe complications like a heart failure. Blockage to vessels also leads to decreased blood supply to extremities of the body, resulting in gangrene and organ dysfunction in the longer run. In a serious condition clots may be formed in the blood which may block the flow in the vessels supplying heart and brain. This may lead to severe consequences like paralysis or even death in some cases. Another common medical condition is the difficulty in breathing which is known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It can be defined as a syndrome, i.e. a group of disease. Obstruction in the airflow occurs in this condition which may lead to difficulty in breathing. Respiratory system is weakened due to damaged basic units which are alveoli. This may show up as breathlessness and chronic cough as the presenting symptoms. In some persons it also acts as the predisposing factor for Asthma.

Besides smokers are also at increased risk of developing high blood pressure which may result in hypertension. This disease involves various other organs of the body like kidney, liver and eyes. Decrease in the functioning of the kidney may lead to serious complications which occur due to accumulation of the waste products in the body. Similarly, a person affected by hypertension is in turn prone to develop cataracts and other visual problems like macular degeneration. Smoking is more dangerous as it poses an equal threat to the passive smokers. They are the persons who dont smoke actively but inhale it as released by an active smoker. Smoking kills is the phrase enough to define the dangers of smoking.

HIV/AIDS
It has been estimated that by the end of 2008, there were over 36 million people having with HIV/AIDS. Since the epidemic began, an estimated 2,000,000 people have died of AIDS during the end of year 2007. In India, it has been estimated that the end of 2008 there were over 2.5 million people having with HIV/AIDS. The states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Manipur are most affected by HIV/AIDS. What is AIDS? AIDS is the short form of the followings: A-Acquired-because it is a condition one must acquire or get infected with, not something transmitted through the genes. I-Immune - because it affects the body's immune system, the part of the body which usually work to fight off germ such as bacteria and viruses. D-Deficiency - because it makes the immune system deficient (makes it not work properly). S-Syndrome - because someone with AIDS may experience a wide range of different diseases and opportunistic infections. What is HIV? HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is the short form of the followings: H-Human - because this virus can only infect human beings. I-Immune deficiency - because the effect of the virus is to create a deficiency, a failure to work properly, with the body immune system. V-Virus - because this organism is a virus, which means one of its characteristics is that it is incapable of reproducing by itself. It reproduces by taking over the machinery of the human cell. How HIV Weakens the Immune System The virus HIV attacks the white blood cells (WBC) of the Immune system which protects the body from infection and disease. HIV enters the T 4 cells (helper cell) and reproduces within the cell, and ultimately destroys the genetic system. This damage is permanent. As more and more

cells are destroyed, the Immune system-ceases to function effectively thus make it possible for various infections to enter the body.