The Government wants each Ugandan woman to produce only four children in the next 27 years to curb the acute population growth, a planning expert has disclosed.
“In order to have sustainable population growth the government intends to lower the fertility rate of women to produce four children per woman,” Sarah Nahalamba, a senior planner, gender and social development at the National Planning Authority (NPA) said.
According to the Uganda Health Demographic Survey, Ugandan fertile women produce an average of 6.7 % children per woman.
It is estimated that the country’s population will reach 93.4 million people in 2040 but the government wants this figure reduced to 61 million people.
Nahalamba explained that the reduction of fertility of women can be achieved by engaging the citizens in production activities rather than being idle which encourages sex escapades, discouraging child and early marriages by keeping girls in schools and availing family planning services to women.
The unmet need of family planning services stands at 42%.
“This can be achieved by providing free of charge family planning methods to women,” she said.
Nahalamba also said the government wants to increase life expectancy to 84 years from the current 51.4 come 2040.
Nahalamba made the remarks during the consultation workshop on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and post 2015 agenda in Kampala on Wednesday.
The workshop was organized by Uganda Parliamentary Forum on MDGs and Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children in collaboration with United Nations agencies operating in Uganda.
Nahalamba stressed that the Government’s Vision 2040 is attainable.
She also said the government plans to eliminate the number of stunted children to zero from the current 33%.
She said it could be achieved by stepping up nutritional elements for children and pregnant mothers.
By Francis Emorut, The New Vision