For citation purposes: Koumousidis A, Varras M, Tzoumas N, Top L, Boutas I, Sofoudis C, Katsetos C, Salakos N. The role of gynecologists in the years of demographic, political and economic crisis: the Greek aspect. OA Women's Health 2013 May 01;1(1):3.

Review

 
Ethics & Psycho-Social Issues

The role of gynaecologists in the years of demographic, political and economic crisis: the Greek aspect

A Koumousidis, M Varras, N Tzoumas, L Top, I Boutas, C Sofoudis, C Katsetos, N Salakos
 

Authors affiliations

(1) Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Aretaieio Hospital - Family Planning Unit, Athens, Greece

(2) Third Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology “Helena Venizelou” General, Hospital - Maternity, Athens, Greece

(3) “Tzaneio” General Hospital of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece

* Corresponding author Email: kumusidi@yahoo.gr; kumusidi@doctors.org.uk

Abstract

Introduction

It is widely spread that History teaches the next generations, while every single generation contributes significantly to the enrichment of this valuable store of knowledge. Greece is facing the epoch of political-economic declination; a fact with great impact on demographic parameters (mean life-expectancy, Malthusian parameter r of the Exponential Law in population dynamics, entropy-reproductive potential of population). The aim of this review was to support the essential role of contemporary gynaecologists against current demographic shrinkage.

Materials & Methods

We searched the web, looking for articles concerning history of nations and low birth rate. Historical proportionality was our main tool in selecting and distributing our results, as well as in extracting conclusions. Descriptive statistics was applied, followed by sequence analysis, association rules, grouping and forecasting.

Results

In classical Sparta, the alarming decline of Spartan citizens, as commented by Aristotle (384–322 BC), was one of the major factors, which led to the decline of the Polis during the following Hellenistic and Roman Age. In his work on the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece, Polybius (200–118 BC) cites the phenomenon of low birth rate, population decrease, subsequent agricultural decline and city desertion in Greece, attributing them to Fortune (Tyche). We studied that plagues and low birth rate among Roman citizens led to depopulation in the Empire and in order this to be combated, Barbarian tribes were actually welcomed into the Empire and encouraged to “set up shop” (as famous author and historian Will Durant states, ‘An Empire is not conquered from without, until it has fallen from within’). On the other hand, several modern articles have attributed the EU economic crisis to low birth rate (e.g. an article from the Head of Vatican bank).

Conclusion

Historical proof of low birth rate leading as a factor to the catastrophe of a state is abundant. We, as gynaecologists, could decelerate and maybe reverse this decline in births by informing properly our population on their fertility options, by combating the unnecessary abortions (by launching campaigns for parents, schools and media) and finally, by cultivating a positive attitude towards immigrants to Greece, as they can contribute significantly to the recovery of our wounded economy. Such actions may protect our nation from the Malthusian Catastrophe, as it was prophetically described by Thomas Malthus and published in the “An Essay on the Principle of Population” in 1798.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
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