As the world population hit seven billion, yesterday, the president of the Senate, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, called on men to play their part in cutting down on the country’s fertility rate.
According to the Health Demographic Survey (HDS 2010), the current fertility rate stands at 4.6 children per woman.
“We cannot afford to remain silent on matters of women fertility. Our economy and social wellbeing is affected. It is time for men to join the family planning campaigns,” said Ntawukuriryayo.
According to the findings of the survey, Rwandan women’s fertility rate has progressively declined over the last five years.
In 2005, the rate was 6.1 children per woman but fell to 5.5 in 2008. In 2010, the rate fell further to 4.6.
Ntawukuriryayo pointed out that, although the birth of a baby is always celebrated as a blessing, it is important for people to give birth to children they can afford to provide for.
“In the past years, we witnessed a decrease in the fertility rates, but the figures are still high. It’s important that we look at the quality of these figures,” he said.
The Senator observed that in order to reduce the fertility rates, there was need for all to have a similar understanding on policies.
“One of the major solutions to this problem is educating the youth,” he noted.
During ‘World at 7 Billion people’ celebrations, the UN Resident Coordinator, Aurélien Agbénonci, expressed concerns about the increasing world’s population noting that, as some areas face aging problems, others have a high population growth.
“The issue of the ‘World at 7 Billion’ entails concerns of poverty and inequality, women and girls, young people, reproductive health and rights, environment, aging and urbanisation,” he said.
Agbénonci added that some of the issues may be less relevant than others in the Rwandan context; however it does not take away the fact that population issues are interlinked with all economic, social, political and cultural spheres of society.
“On the other hand, it offers an opportunity for the world to benefit from the strengths and innovations of the seven Billion human family, for instance, in economics and technological terms,” he said.
Meanwhile, during the function, the Senate president launched the State of World Population Report 2011.
The report shows a population decrease in Western countries and at the same time an alarming increase in developing countries.
The report was launched in 100 countries while the major event was held in London.