Source: The Star
Government efforts to address the country’s ever surging population are being hampered by women’s reluctance to adapt modern family planning methods. This is according to a latest report released yesterday by the National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development. According to the findings, a paltry 25 per cent of women population, who are married but do not intend to have children are using contraceptives, a situation if not addressed will reduce the government’s efforts to realize MDGs and Vision 2030.


Speaking at the launch of a family planning tool, dubbed Tupange [let us plan], the initiative’s deputy director Janet Omyonga said there are measures the project intends to champion, aimed at increasing the contraceptive use by 20 per cent in the next five years. “The project aims at advocating for improved policy environment, which will support FP and the urban poor,” she said, adding that there is need to improve quality and availability of services.

The findings which were conducted in Nairobi, Mombasa Kisumu, Kakamega and Machakos reveals that majority of the people have some knowledge on contraceptives, but are challenged on how to access them. “Most people who stay in the informal sectors get children at a time when they did not expect to have them,” Omyonga said, a situation which she attributes to social problems the marginalized communities are facing.

According to the report, Mombasa has the lowest uptake of modern FP, at 29 per cent, while the other four towns have a similar uptake of between 44-49 per cent. The survey, which involved sexually active people of between 15-54 years, reported a positive intention of women willing to take contraceptives in the next 12 months, with Kisumu reporting the highest at 26 per cent.

The lowest quintile of people living in Nairobi and Mombasa were reported to be least likely to undertake modern FP methods, this was due to myths and misconception, which Tupange intends to demystify. “There is need to aggressively address unmet needs, expand access to services while addressing missed opportunities in order to reduce the high risk births, because FP saves lives,” she said.

Among methods the initiative intends to implement will include provision of contraceptives, education, and involvement of men into the campaigns. “We also intend to build on existing programmes and approaches, as well as integrating FP services into the already existing ones,” she said. The program will further target the youth in and out of schools, married and unmarried, between 15-24 years by giving them life skills education and informing them about the options at their disposal. “Youth are active; there is need for them to be protected by expanding their capacity, which will enable them make informed decisions,” she said.

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