By Denis Turyahebwa.
Today Wednesday 11th July 2018 marks the world population day, a day that is commemorated by the international community. Uganda will join the celebration that will be held at Bobi community polytechnic Playground in Omoro District, Northern Uganda where his Excellency the president is expected to be the chief guest. The day will run under the theme: ‘’ Leaving nobody Behind; Improving Service Delivery and Accountability’’.
According to Hon David Bahati the State Minister for planning, Uganda over time has put population issues at the centre of its development plans and programs. In 1995, the first National Population was promulgated by the government.
Hon Bahati says the policy highlighted the then rampant poverty levels in the country and the importance of integrating population factors into the Poverty Reduction Action Plan implementation at national and lower level. The policy was revised in 2008 and recognised the need to tackle the persistent high mortality and fertility rates in the country.
With the implementation of these policies, Uganda increased the spending and switched emphasis on preventive rather than curative programs like immunisation and other child health programmes and culminating in Universal Primary Education(UPE).
As a result of these programmes, Uganda has witnessed commendable progress in increased life expectancy from 43years to 63 in 2016 an addition of 20 years, decline in infant Mortality rate from high 122 deaths per 1000 lives to a low 43 death per 1000 by 2016 according to the 2016 census. Fertility levels have also improved in the country with a decline in total fertility rate from 7.4 children per woman in 1991 to 5.4 children in 2016
The Government continue to mobilise communities to wipe-out early pregnancies, child school drop outs and full utilisation of Government programs like immunisation and Universal Education with cultural leaders and Religious leaders playing a tremendous role to save the societies.