Egypt’s family planning programme: Two are Enough

10-09-2018 01:55 PM

Georgete Sadeq

Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Wali, launched yesterday from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) the preliminary media campaign for the family planning project “Kifaya 2”, literally “Two are enough” which was launched earlier this year.

Yesterday’s event was attended by Mustafa al-Fiqi, Director of the BA, Alexandria Governor Abdel Aziz Qansawa and Talaat Abdel-Qawi, Head of the General Union of NGOs.

Dr Wali expalined that for economic growth to yield tangible results, it should exceed three folds the population growth. This means, she said, that we must work on boosting economic growth and reducing population growth. As an example, she pointed out that the State has increased the number of primary school classes by 7 per cent, which was in turn met by an 18 per cent increase in the number of pupils. So instead of meeting the target of decreasing the number of pupils in a class, the number rose from 43 to 47 children per class.

Kifaya 2 is part of a national strategy programme for family planning; it was launched by the Ministry of Health last May in cooperation with the USAID and aims at containing overpopulation in Egypt. Dr Wali said the Ministry of Health delegated to the Ministry of Social Solidarity the role of coordinating with NGOs to raise awareness of the population issues, birth control, and family planning which stresses smaller families and adequately spaced child births. The Minister of Social Solidarity said that the project would be implemented through 100 NGOs among which the Ministry is coordinating. She explained that the first phase of the programme targets the 10 governorates with the highest birth rates, the highest level of poverty and the least incomes. These governorates are: Beheira, Giza, Fayoum, Beni Sweif, Minya, Assiut, Suhag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan. She said that 2257 villages are targeted with 342,000 door to door visits by family planning staff scheduled; she explained that 10,000 visits were already made between June and August 2018. Dr Wali said that 200 people from the NGOs participating were trained for the door to door campaign and the management of family planning clinics. The participating clinics were refurbished and equipped with the necessary machines and tools, she pointed out.

Dr Wali announced that the Ministry has compiled an awareness manual for the door to door campaign in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund.

The Minister of Social Solidarity reminded that the project was first announced last July during a Youth Conference that was attended by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. “We promised the President a population programme that targets during its first phase 150,000 women who are beneficiaries of the “Takaful” programme—another Ministry of Solidarity programme launched in 2015 and which offers financial and social assistance to women and children who answer the criteria of the programme.

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