14 November 2012

Kenya: Do More Research to Boost Family Planning - Sambili

More research should be conducted on how best to promote family planning in rural areas, Ministry of Planning permanent secretary Dr. Edward Sambili has said.

In a statement read on his behalf by the ministry's senior director of administration, Dr. John Ndasaba, the minister urged for more research on culture to be conducted as this will aid in the wider acceptance of family planning as a way of controlling the population growth rate.

He said this at the launch of the state of the world population report 2012 at the KICC in Nairobi. The UNFPA country representative Dr. Alex Ilyin who presented the report said that family planning needs to be made available to everyone who wants it as this will spur on development in the country.

His sentiment was echoed by Dr. Ndabasa who said that family planning will enable better allocation of resources to the existing population. "We need to manage population to a level that can be sustained by the available resources," he said.

Dr. Ruth Masila of the African Institute for Development Policy, a partner agency to the National Council for Population Development said that hindrances to the adoption of family planning in the country include: lack of information to the youth who form the majority of the population, minimal to no participation of men and boys and limited access to family planning information and facilities. She said that one of the ways in which information on family planning can be made available is if it is integrated with other healthcare related programmes such as counseling on HIV/AIDS. She also added that for the practice to be more acceptable, a wider range of methods need to be availed to.

Representatives of the Population Council who were also in attendance at the event stated that Kenya stood to make faster strides towards achieving vision 2030 with the adaption of family planning.

Dr. Eliud Wekesa from the council said that maternal and child health will drastically improve with the implementation of family planning. "Currently there are 488 infant deaths per 100,000 births, but family planning can greatly reduce this," Wekesa said. The government aims to attain a 72 per cent family planning acceptance level up from the current 46 per cent level.

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