The Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba, Prof. John Akec, urged the South Sudanese to embrace family planning so that they can effectively provide for their families.
Akec who spoke on Thursday during the conclusion of a three-day innovative training for the youth to alleviate social problems in family planning, said families need to be informed on how they can minimise unplanned marriages and settle on the right family size.
“Today you have to pay for everything—for medical care, for clothing, for their education (children), so it is important that we consider the planned family,” he argued.
He lamented the cultural values that encourage siring more children without surety from the parents that they can cater for the children.
“We have issues of understanding, we have issues of cultures to battle with, and we have issues of illiteracy to battle with.”
According to Prof Akec, unlike the 1980s when the cost of living was cheaper, the current economy is unforgiving for someone with a larger family.
“The place where we are now, you could not think of this (family planning) in the 80s,” he said.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) South Sudan Country Office is working with international and national partners to address the need to prevent maternal deaths, enhance family planning and ensure zero gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child marriage by 2030.
According to BMC Public Health, the social norm of having as many children as possible is under competitive pressure from the emerging norm that equates taking good care of one’s children with providing them with a good education.
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