Gicumbi: Why men participation in family planning initiatives is needed

Residents line up to wash hands at Miyove Health Centre in Gicumbi District. / Photo: Lydia Atieno.

There is need for mutual involvement when it comes to embracing family planning programmes for both men and women.

In Northern Province, Gicumbi District, the rate of people involved in family planning programs stands at 57 per cent for the targeted group, according to Felix Ndayambaje, the District Mayor.


Constance Nyamvura, the Head of Miyove Health Centre in Gicumbi District said when men get involved; it’s easier to support their spouse when it comes to family planning matters.


“When there is mutual involvement, it helps men accept the contraceptives in the first place, which will lead them to start using as well as support their spouses, she said.


Nyamvura added that couples who discuss family planning issues and their desired number of children in the future, have more success in achieving their reproductive goals as a family.

Ndayambaje said there will be a positive impact only if all citizens join the programs despites their sex, this, he added that is one way of cutting off the unplanned expenditure on the side of the government.

“There is still a long way to go when it comes to changing men’s mindset on family planning in general, as most of them ignore the services intentionally, he noted.

Meanwhile, Ndayambaje cited that there is a positive impact if citizens embrace family planning methods, to the economic growth and sustainability of the country.

 “If there is un proportional rate between the population and economic growth, there is a huge gap between the vision of the country and the sustainability of citizens,

“As a District, we have started engaging private sectors in the management of health posts to be put close to citizens at least one in every village for the population to be informed more on family planning programs,” he added.

Despite programmes such as inshuti z’umuryango, umugoroba w’abyeyi among other initiatives that have been put in place to discuss family issues, there is still a low rate of men showing up to such programs.

“Through such programs, it’s where we anticipate educating men on family planning issues, but we find it hard to pass the message because they don’t attend the meetings in the first place,” he said.

Need to invest in family planning

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the current fertility rate, the population will be 16.3 million people by 2032.

Julien Mahoro Niyingabira, Head of Media Relations at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) said the government of Rwanda is committed to manage this population growth while implementing its developmental strategies including National Strategy for Information (NSTI).

“This requires solid effort to accelerate rapid decline in fertility rate. Family planning is currently heavily, depending on external funding,” he said.

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