Kenya: Maternal Health to Take Centre Stage at Population Forum

11 November 2019

Kenya will host the International Conference on Population Development from Tuesday to Thursday.

This is against a backdrop of 8,000 women that die each year from pregnancy-related complications, according to Ministry of Health data.

Speaking at a media briefing in Nairobi on Sunday, UNFPA communication advisor Adebayo Fayoyin said the world needs to pay closer attention to what he termed as "the silent disaster of women dying while giving life".

"It is important for us to take note of the fact that these women are dying during the very important process of giving life. It is a tragedy that we can no longer afford to take for granted," Mr Fayoyin said.


He expressed hope that countries that were part of the summit would not only assent to the programme of action, but also implement it.

"International agreements such as the Cairo plan of action should be integrated in national policies for implementation. It is our hope that signatories will voluntarily commit themselves to the process to accelerate the progress made on fulfilling the plan's pledges," he said.

Denmark and the United Nations Population Fund are co-hosting the conference, which marks the 25th anniversary of the initial population summit held in Cairo in 1994.

According to Dr Angelina Siparo, who heads the National Aids Control Council, about 7,000 delegates have so far confirmed attendance.


Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Dr Siparo warned against "a rising tide of ignorance and misinformation" regarding the agenda.

"As a Christian myself, I can assure Kenyans that we are not in conflict with religion or moral values, but with a rising tide of ignorance. This is an opportunity for experts, policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss ways to ensure that the reproductive health rights for all were safeguarded and made available," she said.

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