Districts have called on development partners to jointly organise continuous awareness campaigns to sensitise Rwandans about family planning practices, especially on modern contraceptive methods.
The call was made on Friday during a one-day workshop on awareness and advocacy about family planning.
Organised by United Nations Population Fund, the workshop took place following the release of the 2018 State of World Population Report themed: “The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition.”
Participants discussed measures needed for households to embrace family planning in order to reduce the risk associated with high population growth rates.
Referring to 2012 census, Thierry Mugineza, a planning Officer in Kayonza district, said that within six years the population in his has increased by 15 per cent.
“If we fail to adopt family planning, we will not achieve our development targets. Sensitisation on family planning is needed. It is hard for a family of six children to contribute to the development of the country. This increases cases of school dropouts and street children,” Mugiraneza said.
David Mugiraneza, a planning officer of Gatsibo District, said that despite the efforts and progress in family planning there’s need for more sensitisation in order to change society’s negative mindset towards contraceptives.
According to Mark Bryan Schreiner, the UNFPA Representative to Rwanda, information on reproductive health and sexual education should be delivered to young people to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
He said that when a woman has the power and means to prevent or delay a pregnancy, she has more control over her health and can enter or stay in paid labour force for a long period and realise her full economic potential.
“Choice is about having the power and the means to make your own decisions about whether, when or how often to have children, and how that power affects other choices in life,” he added.
The call comes ahead of the fifth International Conference on Family Planning due to take place in Kigali in November.