Nairobi — Kenya is among nine countries on track to surpass the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) goals setting targets for the use of modern contraceptive.
According to the findings by FP2020, a global partnership which aims to empower women and girls by investing in rights-based family planning, an estimated 6.1 million women are using modern methods of contraception in Kenya, almost 2 million more since the launch of FP2020 in 2012.
In 2019, the report estimates that as a result of the use of modern contraceptives over 2.4 million unintended pregnancies and over half a million unsafe abortions have been prevented.
In addition, 8,800 maternal deaths have been averted as a result of modern contraceptive use.
However, while significant progress has been made, the challenge of putting women and girls at the centre of development remains critical, FP2020 noted in a report released on Wednesday.
Many of the more than one billion young people (age 10-24) living in the 69 FP2020 focus countries do not have access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health care programs that meet their needs and empower them to determine matters related to their sexuality for themselves.
"25 years on from the first International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the family planning movement has gained huge momentum. Yet big challenges remain. With every day that passes, millions are denied the right to choose their own future. As we look ahead to 2030, we must continue to push for progress, build on what works well, and ensure we leave no woman or girl behind," she explained.
However, Kenya is focusing on strengthening family planning at the sub-national level.
29 of the 47 counties have developed and launched implementation plans for family planning programs.
"The evidence is clear - when you invest in women and girls, the good deed never ends. Barriers are broken and opportunities open up that not only lift women out of poverty but can elevate society and bring about economic gains. No other single change can do more to improve the state of the world," Executive Director of FP2020 Beth Schlachter said.
There are now 926 million women of reproductive age across the 69 FP2020 countries - 100 million more than there were in 2012.
With this number expected to surpass 1 billion in 2025, millions more women will need vital family planning services.
"As the global community looks ahead to the post-2020 framework, the importance of putting women and girls at the centre of development is paramount. More work is ahead, and the challenge will be to deepen existing commitments and approaches to ensure that the needs and rights of women and girls around the world are met and respected," Schlachter said.
The other countries that have surpassed the FP2020 goals include Mozambique, Chad, Cameroon, Kyrgyz Republic, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Sri Lanka.