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UNFPA Uganda launches State of the World Population Report 2019: Unfinished Business in the Pursuit of Rights and Choices

9 May 2019
State Minister of Finance for Planning Hon David Bahati and UNFPA Representative Mr Alain Sibenaler unveil the dummy of the SWOP report in Kampala, April 25. Looking on (L) is Director General National Population Council Dr Jotham Musinguzi and midwife Sr Jenneth Akello, and (R) Rev. Moses Semugooma and Dr Olive Sentumbwe from the World Health Organisation. PHOTO: UNFPA/ Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi

Kampala – Uganda’s population doubles every 20 years. This revelation was made by Mr. Alain Sibenaler, The United Nations Population Fund Representative, at the launch of the State of the World Population Report 2019, in Kampala.  Currently at 40.3 million, the population stood at 6.5 million in 1959. “But with reduced fertility, this trend is likely to slow down by 2040,” Mr. Sibenaler said.

Globally, the 2019 State of the World Report shows that since 50 years ago, when UNFPA was established, great milestones have been achieved towards realizing reproductive health and rights in many countries. The global movement to empower women to make their own decisions about whether, when, how often and with whom to become pregnant has gained momentum.

“In Uganda, there has been a steady increase in the number of married women using modern methods of family planning from 26 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2016,” said Hon. David Bahati, State Minister of Finance for Planning, who officiated at the launch.

“Maternal mortality ratio has reduced by 24 percent in the recent years; from 438 death per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016,” added Hon. Bahati.

However, the Report shows that on the journey towards rights and choices, women and girls have faced social and economic barriers every step of the way – unmet need for family planning, unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence, among other challenges - compromising the quality of reproductive health for women, men, girls and boys. 

In a discussion with journalists at the launch, Mr. Sibenalar indicated that early release of the SWOP is one of the landmark events for the unfinished business in the implementation of the ICPD Plan of Action. This year, 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), as well as 50 years of UNFPA’s existence.  To mark these two key milestones, a number of high-level engagements will be activated, culminating to a climax at the ICPD Summit in Nairobi in November.

Complied by Prossy Jonker Nakanjako