Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Pallisa district authorities have raised a red flag over the rapid population growth there. According to information from the district, the population in Pallisa stands at over 400,000 from 270,000 people in 2014
District officials say the rapid population increase has pilled pressure on health and education services and lowered the living standards in the district. Dr. Godfrey Mulekwa, the Pallisa District Health Officer, says that the majority of the residents leave in abject poverty since many people are peasant farmers.
He blames the huge population growth on the low uptake of contraceptives among mothers despite the presence of family planning facilities.
Dr. Mulekwa explains that the uptake of family planning remains low with the use of contraceptives standing at 31%. He attributes the slow uptake of family planning services to the lack of skilled health workers and misconceptions by men about the side effects of the family planning methods.
According to Dr. Mulekwa, the population growth wouldn’t be a problem, but most parents in the district can’t sustain their families and children in school.
Pallisa District LC V Chairperson, Patrick Duchu attributes the population increase in the district to the previous insurgencies in the neighbouring districts of Teso, which forced many people to settle in Pallisa district. He says the problem is so serious and needs intervention like increased mass sensitization to boost family planning uptake.
Some men in Pallisa say that they cannot allow their wives to enrol for family planning because of their side effects, which in the end stops them from giving birth again. Augustine Bukuudi, a resident of Pallisa town council, says that he stopped his wife from enrolling on family planning services because most of the women with problems with their uterus were on family planning.
Bruno Okili, a Boda boda rider within Pallisa town council and Moses Okurut, a mechanic blame the rapid population growth on idle youths and unemployment in the district. They say that most of the youths spend time having sex with their partners due to lack of work.