Kenya: Health Ministry Says Family Planning Key Social-Economic Driver

22 September 2022

Nairobi — As Kenya prepares to join the world in marking World Contraception Day on Monday the government says it facing a Sh1.3 billion annual deficit in the investment of family planning commodities.

According to acting Medical Services Director Andrew Mulwa, measures have been put in place to invest in reproductive and maternal health including family planning to suit the social economic development.

This year's theme is to improve awareness of all contraceptive methods available and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

"Family planning is very detrimental to the development of the country because in essence you have enough people to take care of in education, to provide for utilities, health services and every spectrum of life hence the growth of the economy the country so desires to have," he stated.

Mulwa called on men to get involved and embrace the conversation of various family planning methods as their role in the community is very significant.

During his presentation, Mulwa remarked that contraception is for both men and women, in breaking myths in family planning, he refuted the myths that contraception causes infertility to the users. Noting that some methods may delay return to fertility but differs from one woman to another.

He said the country is now on the upward trend in promoting enough health care facilities and service deliveries after the disruption caused by the emergence of Covid-19.

"We had a drop close to 500,000 visits to the health care facilities for family planning services in the year 2021-2022 an aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak," he stated.

He noted that the National government is putting enough effort to bring on board county governments and partners to ensure they engage gains they had done prior to covid-19 on matters of family planning.

In terms of challenges in Domestic Financing to avail required resources to promote the health care services, he noted the country has been in a landscape where Donor Financing has significantly dropped.

"Kenya is classified as a low middle-income economy, donor financing has continued to dwindle and the resources that are available to us as development funds come as either loans or concessions and we have been in a landscape where Donor Financing has significantly dropped," he said.

Mulwa said in the Investment in family planning commodities there have been gaps close to Sh1.3 billion every year in the family planning space. In addition, he said the modern contraception among women will help to reduce unintended pregnancies from Sh2.3 million in 2021 to Sh1.8 million in 2024 as this also promotes proper child spacing and timing of births.

'To avert this, we will also avert 1 million births and over half a million of unsafe abortion and 5,800 maternal deaths as well as reduce unmet family planning needs by 6.7% by 2024" said Dr. Mulwa.

In addition, he said "the use of contraception prevents pregnancy related health risks for women and when births are separated by less than 2 years, the infant mortality rate is 45% higher than it is when children are born 2-3 years apart and 60% higher when births are 4 or more years apart. Therefore, the use of contraception reduces maternal mortality significantly."

The ministry noted that if the population is not taken into consideration now then we will take care of the negative impacts of the population explosion in the immediate and the long-term impact of the same. For we will experience a youthful population that are not meaningfully engaged.

He calls upon men to get involved and embrace the conversation of the family planning methods for their role in the community is very significant.

"We need to focus on younger men in this year's conversation on family planning as we join the world in marking World Contraception Day on Monday the 26th September," he stated.

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