Kenya: Enhancing Access to Family Planning – African Business
Kenya has seen an improvement in family planning among women of reproductive years. 52 percent of eligible women have used modern family planning methods, which is 5.2 million women.
During a round table discussion with journalists on Thursday, Dr. Andrew Mulwa, head of promotive services and preventive services at ministry of health, stated that the government is committed to closing the gaps in the system with statistics showing a steady improvement in uptake. He expressed concern about the low uptake among men of family planning products, despite their greatest influence on reproductive issues.
“If we don’t take care of the population now, we will take care of the negative impact of population explosion in the immediate future” observed Mulwa.
Mulwa stated that Kenya is now a middle-income country and that the government has increased domestic financing for family planning commodities. The country expects to be able to fully fund its contraceptives budget by 2026.
“The government allocated 559 million shillings for family planning commodities in the 2020-2021 financial year, 563 million shillings during 2021-2022 while 1.19 billion shillings has been set aside for the 2022-2023 financial cycle” said Mulwa.
Some partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, USAID and UNFPA, have pledged monetary support to help bridge the financing gap. The supply requirements for this financial year are 2.5 billion shillings.
The forum’s head, Dr. Issak bashir, from the department of family health, decried deep-seated social myths and misconceptions which he blamed for the low adoption among some sections of the community. Bashir said that the country could be in a perpetual poverty cycle if the right information and services aren’t made available to the general population, most of whom are young.
Experts have warned Kenyans not to take family planning items that haven’t been approved and registered by the pharmacists and poisons boards (PPB). Dr. Albert Ndwiga is the ministry’s family planning programme manager. He said that some of the illegally imported pills are unsafe 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 marked on September 26th. The 2022 theme is “Breaking myths in family planning.”
Distributed by APO Group for Ministry of Health, Kenya.
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