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Bahati roots for Museveni's four children advice

By Eddie Ssejjoba

Added 23rd March 2018 12:18 PM

Bahati said for the President to have said that a woman should have a maximum of four children is a welcome idea that should be advanced and popularised throughout the country.

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Bahati said for the President to have said that a woman should have a maximum of four children is a welcome idea that should be advanced and popularised throughout the country.

PIC: The minister of state for planning, David Bahati (third-right)  with stakeholders after a strategic planning meeting for the Government and United Nations Population Fund at the finance ministry in Kampala. Others are UNFPA deputy representative Miranda Tabifor (left), Edson Muhwezi (second-left) and UNFPA country representative, Alain Sibenaler (third-left). Right is John Ssekamatte from National Planing Authority and National Population Council director general Dr Jotham Musinguzi on March 21,2018. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)

POPULATION
          
 
KAMPALA - The state minister of finance, David Bahati, has directed the National Population Council (NPC) to act on President Yoweri Museveni’s advice to women to produce not more than four children.

Bahati said for the President to have said that a woman should have a maximum of four children is a welcome idea that should be advanced and popularised throughout the country.

Calling it a major breakthrough for advancing reproductive health and population issues in the country, Bahati, said major players in area ought to capitalise on it, in addition to family planning.
 
Speaking during a planning meeting between the Government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at the finance ministry, Bahati urged NPC to propagate the President’s message as an advocacy tool in advancing population issues.

Last year during the launch of the 2014 National Population Census in Kampala, Museveni said a big population was good for development, saying the 34.6 million people as was indicated in the Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2016 estimates, was an important resource for economic development.

He added that population growth was a strategic contribution to the regional common market of 160 million people, adding that rich countries such as Japan and south Korea achieved prosperity through making use of their human resource.

But during a thanksgiving ceremony for Burahya County MP Margaret Muhanga’s mother, Constance Kabakaali in Kabarole district in February, Museveni made a U-turn when he counselled women to avoid having many children.

Bahati chairing the meeting at the finance ministry. (Credit: Eddie Sejjoba)


He said the maximum number of children one ought to give birth to should be four, for both health and convenience reasons.

Bahati now wants funds to be allocated to popularise the changed view of the President. 
 
The UNFPA country representative, Alain Sibenaler, applauded Museveni’s message, which he said was good towards achieving middle-income status.

He said the country’s fertility rate had to come down and that the President was speaking about a number that is lower than the current fertility rate, which he said is in the right direction.

Sibenaler said UNFPA had so far mobilised about $14m (about sh54.2b) from various sources to support the implementation of the eighth country programme for the period 2017-2020. He, however, noted that there was still a gap of about $7m (sh25b).

Dr Jotham Musinguzi, the director general of NPC promised to rally behind the cause by popularising the President’s view on child spacing.

“We need to inform people that in this age in Uganda, children are not dying as they used to, so couples should only have a manageable family size other than before when they would produce many and a few would survive,” Musinguzi said 

Uganda’s fertility rate stands at 5.87 births per woman, with a population of 44.27 million people, as per the 2018 population estimates.


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