Rwandese urged to use family planning methods

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Amid the rise of the number of people in Rwanda, parents, especially those in rural areas, are being implored to use the modern family planning methods to control the rising population. Speaking over the weekend at Ngagatare in Eastern Province of Rwanda, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Donatile Mukabalisa said it is high time parents embraced family planning programmes to control high birth rate.

She urged dads and mums to only sire the number of children they can take care of without a struggle. Mukabalisa explained to the locals the significance of family planning while stressing on the need for having fewer children. Women in rural areas reportedly prefer having more than four children, a move that has been vehemently opposed by the speaker. She noted that eras of having many children are gone; people should adjust to the modern styles of living, she advised. Main factors leading to high population in the Central African country are high fertility rate, lack of adequate education, inaccessibility to family planning methods, among others.

“The government does its best to deliver the services that you need. You, therefore, need to carry out good planning, starting from your homes,” she said. Rwanda population stands at 12.3 million, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) compared to 10.5 million in 2012.

 Even though there has been a slight reduction in the rate of poverty, 63 per cent of the population still lives below USD$1.25 a day according to the World Bank report. NISR stated high population as the major stumbling block for government in reducing poverty. NISR director Yusuf Murangwa had expressed his fear that Rwanda may fail to achieve its target of becoming a high-income country by 2050 given the high rate of birth. He proposed decentralization of family planning to reduce fertility rate.

“The population is set to double but we can ensure that citizens are productive and empowered to contribute to growth. There is a need for a policy that emphasizes reducing current fertility rates as well as creating a healthier workforce,” reiterated the director. The study shows that 19 per cent of those who live in rural areas cannot access modern methods of contraception.

High teenage pregnancy is another factor deemed to be contributing to the growth in population. According to the ministry of health rate of pregnancies has hit the bar and more than seventeen girls aged 16-19 years were reported pregnant in 2016. Research further shows that 300, 000 people are born annually.

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27