The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, has tabled before parliament, a proposal on how the government can control the increasing population growth rate in the country.
According to Ntawukuriryayo, the current fertility rate of 5.5 implies that a Rwandan woman, on average, gives birth to five or six children, but if adequate measures to curb the growth rate are put in place, the rate can be reduced to about 2.3 by 2035.
“The current population of Rwanda is about 10 million, and if no measures are taken, the population will be about 21.5 million by 2035. But with appropriate measures, the population could be around 16.4million,” Ntawukuriryayo said.
He proposed that that one key way of achieving the desired growth rate, is re-emphasizing all government policies, especially the social welfare of the people.
“Family planning services should be decentralized to ensure that the number of those utilizing them increases to about 70 percent by 2012. Currently, only 45% of Rwandans use family planning measures,” Ntawukuriryayo said.
He added that campaigns against population growth should be intensified among the youth, and girls’ education should be emphasized so that they grow up knowing how to control their fertility.
Meanwhile, during the same session, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against HIV/Aids, Dr. Anita Asiimwe, highlighted the current HIV/Aids status in the country and pleaded with the legislation to amend laws as a way of discouraging stigma and discrimination of HIV/Aids patients.
She pointed out that there are cases of discrimination against people living with HIV/Aids, such as cases where they are unable to benefit from products such as life insurance, financial services (loan, credit and mortgage facilities) among others.
Asiimwe also requested employers and policy makers to ensure that anti-discrimination provisions are inserted into codes of conduct and workplace policies and standards of service.