The Minister of Health has cautioned families to embrace the three-children per family policy in order to sufficiently get services like health and education and for the country to equitably distribute its resources to the population.
Dr Richard Sezibera said this at a press conference on Monday while presenting the major achievements of the ministry in the year 2008 and its plans for the next.
“It is not about being able to feed over fifteen children, it is about the government’s potential and the amount of resources, personnel, and infrastructure required to meet the increasing population,” Sezibera said.
He added that in light of this fact, development efforts towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should not overlook the importance and benefits of slowing population growth.
According to statistics on the achievements given out at the press conference, the number of people using all modern methods of contraception has increased.
The methods which include male and female sterilization, the pill, hormonal implants, condoms and female barriers has increased from 17 percent in 2005 to 36 percent in 2008.
Also among the achievements highlighted by the ministry were the antenatal care services that have risen from 94 percent in 2005 to 96 percent in 2008 and delivery in health centres has also increased from 39 percent in 2005 to 52 percent in 2008.
The statistics further indicated a decrease in the number of children who die after birth making the infant mortality rate drop from 86 per 1000 live births in 2005 to 62 per 1000 live births in 2008.
Among the plans for 2009 is putting more emphasis on chronic diseases that were previously not taken into consideration by the health sector.
“We are going to carry out a thorough research throughout the country which will show the prevalence, causes and the risk factors of these chronic diseases. This will help the ministry to put up special policies to prevent and treat them,” Sezibera added.