Tanzania is experiencing a speedy population growth rate of 2.9 per cent, which does not correspond with the 6.4 per cent economic growth.
The corresponding economic growth for such a rate is estimated to be 8.7 per cent.
This was said by Maurice Hiza, a family planning coordinator in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in a paper presentation aimed to mobilise leaders from all walks of life in Morogoro Region during the World Population Day, marked here at the national level.
The theme of the day was ‘Access to Reproductive Health for All’.
She said the increasing population growth in the country is taking a lop-sided look because the number of children and young people who are still dependant is increasing fast.
She said children under the age of 15 years have reached 47 per cent of the entire population, thus bending heavily on the country's young economy.
The coordinator said countries that have succeeded to control population growth have succeeded to push forward their economies and bring about social stability and welfare.
In order to match population to economic growth, the rate of the latter has to be at least three times bigger that of the former.
Elaborating, she said that currently the birth rate has been increasing at the rate of 5.4 per cent, while family planning methods usage countrywide have reached only 34 per cent, adding that the goal is to hit 60 per cent by 2015.
She said the challenges facing achievement of the higher usage of the methods include reluctance by male partners, gender violence, and abuse of the basic human rights.
The coordinator also said that among the benefits of using family planning methods include saving life of both mother and child, particularly during birth giving, and this has succeeded by 35 per cent.
She also said that family planning helps mothers avoid the dangers associated with unplanned pregnancies, particularly those of abortion.
She said the maternal death rate during delivery of 454 out of 100,000 live births was still too high, whereby the goal is to reduce the rate down to 193 per 100,000 births by 2015. Child death rate is still 51 out of 1,000 births while the target is to have 38 out of 1,000 by the year 2015.
For his part, Morogoro Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr Godfrey Mtei, said that in the year 2011, there were 90 deaths out of 56,687 births, whereby the regional rate stands at 159 deaths out of 100,000 births.
He said among reasons for the deaths was the fact that health service coverage was still low at the average of 40 per cent compared with the national goal of 60 per cent by the year 2015.
He listed the causes of deaths to include epilapsis, serious hermorrhage, bursting of the uterus, infections, and long spells of birth pangs, abortion, malaria and Aids.
He identified strategies aimed at improving provision of health services as including provision of education on family planning, building the capacities of health workers, strengthening the services of home visits by medical personnel, particularly in remote areas and improving health centres and dispensaries.