Premier to appear before Senate over family planning interventions

Senators during a previous session. / Nadege Imbabazi

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente will this Thursday appear before Senate where he will give a briefing on what changes the government is making in terms of budget, sensitisation, education and service provision with regard to promoting family planning in line with the country’s vision 2050.

Among other matters, Ngirente will explain how government is tackling the lack of result-oriented synergy between government institutions aimed at finally having long term family planning budgetary plans.

According to a document related to the meeting, the Premier will also dig deep into the failure to consider the living conditions and the mindset of the masses before the dissemination of family planning information and failure to use trained and experienced people in these programs.

Another issue that will be looked into is the media’s lack of interest in working on stories that highlight the issue of population increase.

Ngirente will also engage with Senators to look into reasons why parents continue to shy away from discussing reproductive health issues with their childred and how this can be fixed.

He will also try to quell the senators’ worries over the fact that the biggest chunk of the family planning budget is generated from donors, which they say may affect the sustainability of these family planning interventions in case such donors pull out.

In February this year, Members of the Senate called for revision of the approach in delivery of family planning services in the country in order to increase its uptake.

Most vocal among them was Senator Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo who said that to succeed in family planning efforts, there was need for openness and youth education sexuality.

He pointed out that it was worrying that university students, still have undesired pregnancies when there are enough tools to help them avoid that.

“You cannot talk about family planning without thinking of education. It should start from schools and families. Why are we not teaching about sexuality? When you talk about sex, people turn it into a joke. It is an issue because we are now jumping to mothers and children but this threatens to be a cycle and it needs to be broken. If you want this programme to work well, start with those who have not given birth yet,” he said.

Senator Narcisse Musabeyezu supported the idea of education, pointing out that beginning at the village level would make a big difference.

“We need to change our working method and go straight to the village level, that is where the teacher, the doctor, the local leader lives. How are we using them to advance this programme? This is a very serious issue and everyone needs to own it,” he said.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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