Uganda’s fertility rate has dropped from 6.5 in 2011 to 6.4 this year, the Uganda State of Population report 2012 has revealed. However, this is no cause of celebration as Uganda still tops the rest of her immediate neighbors. The fertility rate in neighboring Kenya stands at 4.7, Tanzania at 5.4 while Rwanda is at 4.8. Uganda, Somali, Mali, Burundi are ranked second after Niger which records that has 7.0 a fertility rate.
Zambia and DRC are in the third position with a 6.3 fertility rate. Janet Jackson, the United Nations Population Fund Country Representative says that Uganda’s fertility rate can be dropped further if communities embrace family planning.
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With the current fertility, an average Ugandan woman produces 6 children in her lifetime. Experts observe that the high fertility rates have contributed to a population explosion with a million people added every year. In his address at the launch of the 2012 Status of Uganda’s Population, Charles Zirarema, the Acting Director of the Population Secretariat says that initiative to control population growth cannot be ignored with the dwindling resources. Uganda has an estimated 34.1 million people.
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He argues that the passing of the National population Council Bill will create an effective platform to advocate for quality Population. Maria Kiwanuka, the Finance minister says there is need to improve the existing services to cope with the population challenges.
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The Status of the World and Specific Country Population reports are aimed at informing Demographic and Health policies that can sustain the populations.