Society

Health Ministry sensitizes Batwa community to family planning

In a campaign organized on 8 December in Gitega central Province, Dr. Josiane Nijimbere, Minister of Public Health, calls on the Batwa community to adhere to family planning. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Union for the Promotion of Batwa (UNIPROBA) on social and political development of the Batwa community, one family of Batwa (husband and wife) gives birth to an average of six children.

The Health Ministry in collaboration with UNIPROBA organized a campaign to raise Batwa Community’s awareness of family planning.

The Health Ministry in collaboration with UNIPROBA organized a campaign to raise Batwa Community’s awareness of family planning.

Gervais BARAMPANZE, Former UNFPA representative, views this campaign to be special as it concerns and affects a category of the population long forgotten. Dr. Josiane NIJIMBERE emphasizes the importance of the campaign which is part of the ministry’s vast program of raising Burundians’ awareness of family planning.

“This campaign will allow Batwa women to access more health facilities than ever before and be aware of family planning”, says Léonard HABIMANA, UNIPROBA Legal Representative.

HABIMANA goes on to say that the high figures of births in Batwa families are due to their ignorance of the importance of family planning and early marriage. ” According to a 2014 UNIPROBA study on social and political development of the Batwa community, most Batwa women give birth from the age between 12 and 49 and the average is six children per family “, Habimana says.

A galloping demography, an excessive increase in a predominantly female mortality rate, poverty and the non-schooling of Batwa children are among others, the consequences of early marriage as Josiane Nijimbere, Public Health Minister says.

Léonard HABIMANA calls on donors and political authorities to do their best to ensure that the members of the Batwa community have plots of land and educate their children.

To make this campaign a success, the minister says training courses have been given to doctors and their assistants for more effectiveness in raising the population’s awareness of family planning.

Batwa community represents 1% of the Burundian population while Hutu and Tutsi represent 84% and 14% respectively, according to Arib Info.

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