The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Progress On Family Planning Encouraging

editorial

Officials at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning have announced a remarkable improvement in family planning among the Rwandan people, which currently stands at about 42 percent and 43 percent, in the rural and urban areas, respectively.

Figures show a steady decline in the average number of children per Rwandan woman, from the previous six down to four, with the likelihood of the figure going further down, to three, in the coming years.

Considering that only 10 percent of the population used family planning methods in 2005 and by 2010 up to 45% of married couples were using contraception, it is evident that more couples have responded positively to the government's appeal for birth control.

The country's long-term development agenda would come under enormous pressure, if a potential population explosion is not averted. It would be extremely difficult for any country to realise its dreams without checking its population growth rate.

However, with the national family planning campaign beginning to deliver significant results, it's important that more stakeholders, both local and international, join the drive to help sustain the country's current socio-economic transformation pace. Secondly, men, especially those in the rural areas, need to completely do away with the traditional mentality that only women should shoulder the burden of family planning because, after all, both partners are equally affected by the consequences of uncontrolled births.

With family planning getting entrenched by the day, coupled with remarkable progress in education, healthcare and other social services, there is no doubt that the country will go on to achieve its development aspirations. All this should collectively translate into much better livelihoods and life expectancy for the Rwandan people.

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