The New Times (Kigali)

14 February 2010

Rwanda: Family Planning Measures Improving

Kigali — Family planning methods amongst married women are gaining popularity with an increase in the use of these birth control methods standing at 51 percent in 2009.

"Deriving from administrative data take from different health facilities we found that the use of family planning measures had increased to 51 percent," Emile Nkusi, head of Health Monitoring and Evaluation taskforce in the Ministry of Health said.

An interim Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted from 2007 to 2008 had established that the prevalence of contraceptive use among married women was 31 percent. "After the genocide the people complained that they had lost so many dear ones and needed to replace them, which increased the fertility rate," he said.

Nkusi explained that in the years that followed, the family planning campaign was intensified and methods that conformed to the tradition were incorporated within the strategy. "We intensified the sensitization campaign on family planning methods. We even used cycle beads to conform to tradition," he said. Despite the decelerated fertility rate since the post genocide the current population growth rate is still high.

With the current 2.3 percent population growth the population is projected to be 16 million by 2020 from the current 10 million. Rwanda is one of the countries with the highest population density in Africa with 345 people per sq km.

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