Speaker of Parliament Hon Rebecca Kadaga has urged Ugandans to maintain a small number of children that they can take of conveniently.
Kadaga says Ugandans still have wrong perceptions on family planning which need to be changed if Uganda is to achieve economic transformation.
“We need to change the mindset of saying God, or government will take care of your children,” she said.
Kadaga revealed that nearly 70% of all letters she receives from random Ugandans are seeking financial help in terms of school fees which is discouraging.
“Only have children that you have capacity and resources to take care of to ensure quality of life for your families and children,” Kadaga said
The speaker was speaking as guest of honor at the annual Family Planning Conference that opened Thursday in Munyonyo under the theme; Family planning for social transformation: empowering communities.
Minister of health, Ruth Aceng while speaking at the event said government was working with other partners to ensure family planning services are easily accessible to whoever needs them at a low or no cost, especially to the rural communities where overproduction remains a big challenge
“We must educate our mothers and fathers about family planning, that it is not about not having children but having those you can easily take care of. We have also made progress in addressing the children of people with disabilities’ access to the services by training our health service providers,” she said
According to Betty Kyadondo from the National Population Council, Uganda in 2014 made a commitment to increase access to family planning methods from the then 28% to 50% in 2020
However, at the moment, only 39% has been achieved
“We have only one year to 2020 which means it’s impossible for us to meet the target with the current 2% growth rate. However, we will keep working towards improving this percentage,” she said
Professor Nuwagaba Augustine from Makerere University who gave a key note address on the theme said that inability for countries to control population growth remains the major hindrance to social economic transformation and development.
He attributed to the current atrocities like murder, kidnaps and theft to parents who produce children they are unable to take care of.
“We must be responsible as a Nation. Every person should be responsible for every decision they make, that includes producing children. This tendency of burdening relatives and politicians for the children you produced must stop if we are to make any progress,” he said.