The use of contraceptives has improved significantly in the country rising from 4.3 per cent in 2000 to 47.5 per cent currently, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).
The Director General of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, Yusuf Murangwa, gave the figures while briefing Members of the Senatorial Standing Committe on Social Affairs on government’s work in regard to family planning, yesterday.
Murangwa indicated that in 2005, 10.3 percent were using contraceptives while the number rose to 45.1 per cent in 2015.
“Currently, the demand for family planning services stands at 72 per cent. The percentage of those satisfied with modern methods of family planning stand at 66 per cent,” he said.
On fertility, Murangwa said that though it has also improved, there was need to put in more effort to match it with the country’s vision of 2050.
“There should be coordination in programmes that are directly linked to family planning but they should be combined with programmes that promote the economy, education and health if we are to make significant strides towards development. Right now, the strategy is to reduce the fertility rate to two children per woman by 2050. Demographically, that’s a good number and that would mean that population would double by 2050,” he explained.
Senator Narcisse Musabeyezu was interested in what was being done to achieve this goal.
“The dream is commendable but what strategy is in place to achieve it,” he wondered.
He noted that education, good service delivery and capacity building would go a long way in achieving this.
“For this to be possible, local authorities should continue sensitising communities about the value of family planning. Family planning shouldn’t be misinterpreted. Saying that you need it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to have children, it means that you want to plan how you have them,” the lawmaker said.
Senator Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo said that there is need to revive campaigns on family planning.
“It shouldn’t be a law but the point is to tell citizens the value of having two children. In the past, they were beginning to understand it but then the campaigns stopped. This is something that needs to be taken seriously because it is directly linked to the development of the country,” he said.
The chairman of the Family Planning Technical Working Group, Dr Felix Sayinzoga (under the Ministry of Health) on Tuesday told the committe that due to sensitisation programmes, the fertility rate had dropped from 6.1 children per a woman in 2005 to 4.2 children per a woman in 2014/15.