Nairobi — China has joined Kenya's family planning campaign by donating contraceptives worth Sh4 million to the Kenyan government.
While receiving the donation Minister for Planning Wycliffe Oparanya said the gift follows the Chinese government's promise in February 2012 during the re-launch of the family planning programme to donate long term contraceptives to Kenya.
The minister said family planning dramatically improves the health of mothers and their children.
"We are handing the contraceptives to the ministry of health which will contribute towards achieving aspirations of Vision 2030," he said on receiving 5000 contraceptives from Han Chunlin, the Chinese Economic and Commercial Counsellor.
According to the minister there is scientific evidence that increasing access to family planning information and services will dramatically improve the living conditions of individual women and their families, especially among the poor.
He said that Kenya and China are cooperating in many fields of socio-economic development and that both countries are aware of the challenges of population and development.
"While China is grappling with a large and aging population, Kenya is struggling with a youth and rapidly growing population," he said.
Dr Aisha Mohammed the program manager Ministry of Health Division of Reproductive Health said the government has set a target of having 52 per cent of all women of reproductive age on contraceptives by the year 2015.
She said that current figure stands at 46 per cent and is one of the factors behind Kenya's high population growth.
The donation comes at a time when the Catholic bishops of Kenya have strongly opposed a global initiative to provide family planning services targeting women and girls in poor countries. The bishops through the Chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, John Cardinal Njue, have called on Kenyans to reject this plan and to join forces in the liberation of women following the example of following the example of Christ's own esteem for them.
The bishops have reminded the Government of Kenya that many countries, which took such decisions, are now regretting with declining populations and nobody to consume or enjoy the much hyped development.
The bishops stated that any development must be for the common good of people, as their security and protection.
"At a time when our people are greatly affected by HIV/ AIDS and preventable road carnage, we cannot go further to condone efforts at reduction of life,"said the bishops in a statement dated July 20.