Kenya has recorded an improvement in family planning uptake among women of reproductive age with 52 percent of eligible people, or 5.2 million women, using modern family planning methods.
Speaking at a roundtable with health journalists on Thursday, the head of promotion and prevention services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Andrew Mulwa, said the government remained committed to filling the existing gaps, statistics showing gradual improvement in adoption. This even as he worried about the low use of family planning products among men, despite having the greatest influence on reproductive issues.
“If we don’t deal with the population now, we will deal with the negative impact of the population explosion in the immediate future,” Mulwa observed.
With Kenya now classified as a middle-income country, Mulwa said the national government had gradually increased domestic funding for family planning commodities, with the country expected to fully fund its contraceptive budgetary needs by 2026.
“The government has allocated 559 million shillings for family planning commodities in the financial year 2020-2021, 563 million shillings in 2021-2022 while 1.19 billion shillings have been earmarked for the financial cycle 2022-2023 “said Mulwa.
Some partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and UNFPA, have pledged to provide monetary support to fill the funding gap, with procurement needs amounting to 2.5 billion shillings at the during this exercise.
Speaking before the same forum leader, Department of Family Health, Dr. Issak Bashir, denounced deep-rooted societal myths and misconceptions that he blamed on low adoption among sections of the community. According to Bashir, the country risks experiencing a cycle of perpetual poverty if the right information and services are not made available to the general population, the bulk of whom are young people.
But even as pressure for increased use of family planning products intensifies, experts have warned Kenyans against taking family planning products that have not been approved and registered by the Pharmacy Board and poisons (PPB). According to Dr. Albert Ndwiga, head of the family planning program at the Ministry of Health, some of the pills that have illegally ended up on the Kenyan market are not safe to use.
Thursday’s engagement between health journalists and senior Ministry of Health officials came ahead of this year’s World Contraception Day celebrations which will be observed on September 26. The theme for 2022 is “Breaking Family Planning Myths”.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Kenya.
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