EDITORIAL: Family planning is in your best interest!

Nearly 4000 delegates are expected to converge in Kigali today for the fifth edition of the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). 

Participants are drawn from different sectors across the world and will spend several days deliberating on ways to scale up interventions toward achieving global family planning goals.

The meeting is running under the theme, ‘Investing for a Lifetime of Returns’.

One of the issues on the agenda is devising mechanisms that will make it possible for additional 120 million women across the world to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.

Rwanda is one of the countries that have made impressive gains in family planning in recent years, registering a decline in fertility rate from 5.8 to 4.2 children per woman between 2000 and 2015. The country also saw the use of modern contraceptive methods rise from 4 per cent to 48 per cent over the same period.

Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go considering the fact that Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries on the continent, a threat to national development goals.

Notably, the country’s fertility rate remains way above the global average of fertility rate – 2.4 children per woman in 2017, down from 4.7 children in 1950. 

To accelerate progress in this area there is need to expand uptake of family planning services in every part of the country and for all stakeholders in the health sector to pull in the same direction.

In this day and age no woman should be denied access to family planning services for whatever reason – including religious ones!

Rwandans should know that having manageable families is in their best interest because they will be able to provide for their children accordingly and give them a chance at a good life. 

Above all, this will have a positive impact on the country as a whole as far as achieving its development aspirations is concerned.