Do you think Orthodoxy will eventually have a positive effect upon the declining birth rate and the inclining death rate due to alcoholism. I.e., is Orthodoxy in Russia a strong enough influence in Russia to benefit the society?
"Russia Suffers from a Terminal Health Crisis"
Granted, recent health statistics from Russia are shocking. Male life expectancy plummeted from 64 to 57 years between 1989 and 1994, and the country’s population is dropping by more than 500,000 people a year. The population decline has two causes. The first is low birth rates, which are common throughout Europe. The other cause is high death rates. The population pyramid is badly skewed because there were so few births in 1930-45 due to government terror and war, and the large age group born before 1930 is now dying.
According to the most recent United Nations projections, Russia’s population decline—28 percent through 2050—will not be drastically worse than that in parts of Western Europe. The main causes of the drop in male life expectancy are cardiovascular disease and accidents, partly fueled by alcoholism. Nothing suggests that health care standards in Russia have fallen. The quality of health care is closely linked to infant mortality, which plunged 17 percent between 1993 and 1998. Public and private spending on health has risen sharply as a share of GDP. Capitalism has made medicines widely available that were unknown during the Soviet era, and hospital equipment has greatly improved.
Yet the proliferation of illicit drugs and AIDS, both of which are inevitable consequences of becoming an open society, is cause for genuine concern. Another worry is tuberculosis—a new drug-resistant strain of the disease is particularly troubling. Moreover, because the health care system remains predominantly public, it suffers from low salaries, low efficiency, and widespread bribery.http://www.worldbank.org/html/prddr/trans/JulAugSep01/pgs13-15.htm