The United Nations Population Fund has raised concerns over Uganda’s fast-growing population. According to figures from the UNFPA, every year the population of Uganda grows by more than one million people.
While addressing the gathering during 2017 World Population Day which was celebrated at Busia Municipality, President Yoweri Museveni hailed the country’s population growth from 16.7 million people in 1990 to a projected 40 million by next year as an “Asset”. to the country.
The president who called the registered increase in population “Uganda’s most important asset” noted that intervention programs have made Ugandans healthier and live longer than ever before.
“Our Government has increased health facilities to a total of 1,708 and this has brought health services nearer to the people. This, combined with an increase in numbers of health workers, has contributed to the reduction in maternal mortality (deaths of mothers during pregnancy or child birth) from 435 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010/11 to 368 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015/16,” the president said.
Museveni argued that the government has been able to solve population issues by prioritizing prevention in the health sector, for instance immunization and the use of bed-nets for prevention of Malaria.
“As a result of these low cost-high impact programmes, we stopped our children from dying unnecessarily from preventable diseases like Polio, Measles, Tuberculosis (TB), Whooping Cough, etc.”
He also stated that in 1991, infant mortality rate (children dying before their first birthday) was 122 per 1,000 births, but currently infant mortality has been considerably reduced by threefold and stands at 43 per 1,000.
Regarding the HIV / AIDS epidemic, he reiterated the government’s initiative to rekindle efforts to fight the epidermic.
“We are going to put more people on ARVs so that they don’t infect others. We are committed to an AIDS-free Uganda by the year 2030 through the Presidential Fast-tracking Initiative which I launched in Kampala last month,” he said.
World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.