A preliminary report of the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2010, has revealed that usage of modern contraceptives increased substantially in the last five years.
Figures indicate a significant increase from 10 percent to 45 percent of women currently using different modern contraceptive methods.
The previous demographic survey was conducted in 2005.
The most commonly used modern methods are injectables, pills and implants.
Dr Anicet Nzabonimpa, the Family Planning/HIV Integration Coordinator in the Ministry of Health, noted that this had been achieved through community participation.
“There’s been initiation of community based distribution of family planning products by Community Health Workers. These provide counselling, natural methods (cycle beads) among others,” Nzabonimpa said.
He added that integration of family planning activities with all health services related to maternal and child health (immunisation, nutrition, maternity, ante-natal and post-natal consultation, HIV/AIDS services, hospitalisation), has also played a major role.
Basing on the report, injectable contraceptives are the most frequently used with 26 percent of women in Rwanda preferring them.
Medics have proved that they have a 99 percent efficacy rate during the first year of use, and are thus very effective with a rapid outcome.
They start working within 24 hours after administration.
The report further states that the use of contraceptives increases with education levels. 60 percent of women with at least some secondary education use contraceptive methods in contrast to 43 percent of women with no education.
According to the survey, the Western Province has the least percentage use (36%), of contraceptives compared to other provinces, and small portions of the population still use traditional methods.
“Six percent of women reported using traditional methods,” states the report.
Nzabonimpa said that despite the increase in the use of contraceptives, there are still a few challenges such as less male involvement and religious beliefs.
“More than 40 percent of the health facilities are managed by the Catholic Church, some of whom don’t support modern methods of contraception,” Nzabonimpa noted.
He mentioned other hindrances as personal beliefs, fear of side effects, shortage and turnover of health staff.