Malawi government has termed soaring population growth as a threat to the health of many and urged birth-control measures as means of regulating family size.
Minister of Health Dr Peter Kumpalume said Tuesday that all families in the country should embrace the tendency of using contraceptive as the population of Malawi stands at 16.8 million which if not checked will triple in the next 24 years.
Kumpalume made the call in Lilongwe when he officially opened a Client Oriented Provider Efficiency (COPE) for Contraceptive Security Dissemination meeting at Sun Bird Capital.
“There is need for married couples to embrace contraceptive use so as to prevent having unwanted babies as this put their future in jeopardy. As of now on average each women has six children which is on the high and if not checked this will result in the triple of the population in the next 24 years and we cannot afford to provide resources to this high population,” he said.
Kumpalume assured that Malawian women will have access to contraceptives .
His remarks comes after Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati is on record urgingpeople in the country to limit child bearing to four per household, saying the country’s resources cannot sustain the growing population.
“Times have changed, and we need to change. If you bear six or seven children today and each one of them bears the same number, where do you think resources to carter for their needs will come from? Where will they build houses and farm?”
She said at least four children are enough adding that government is making plans on how best the country can develop but, that cannot work if the number of children in families is not limited.
In his speech, Kumpalume said most teenage girls are the ones at the most high risk of getting unwanted pregnancies, and said his ministry encourages sex education for schoolchildren and adults.
Project Director for EngenderHealth who are the financers of the COPE project, Jane Wickstrom said girl need to child planning.
“ It is the aim of this project to make sure that contraceptives are found in hospitals where these girls can easily access them,” she said.
Client Oriented Provider Efficiency (COPE) for Contraceptive Security Dissemination is a project that aimed at making sure that contraceptives are found in hospitals and was operational in 60 hospitals countrywide has since helped in reducing the high rate of unwanted pregnancies.
According to the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS 2010), Malawi’s fertility rate stands at 5.7 children per woman, which is higher than the wanted fertility rate of 4.5 children per woman while the annual growth rate stands at 2.8 percent.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :