Kenya has recorded improvement in family planning uptake among women of reproductive age with 52 percent of those eligible, representing 5.2 million women, using modern family planning methods.
Speaking on Thursday during a round table meeting with health journalists, head of promotive and preventive services at the ministry of health Dr. Andrew Mulwa said the government remains committed to addressing existing gaps with statistics indicating a gradual improvement in uptake.
This even as he raised concern over the low uptake of family planning commodities among men despite them having the greatest influence on reproductive matters.
“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.
With Kenya now classified as a middle-income country, Mulwa said the national government has gradually increased domestic financing for family planning commodities with the country expected to fully finance its contraceptives budgetary needs 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 Bill and Melinda gates foundation, USAID and UNFPA have pledged to provide monetary support to bridge the financing gap with supply requirements standing at 2.5 billion shillings during this financial year.
Speaking at the same forum head, department of family health Dr. Issak Bashir decried deep-seated societal myths and misconceptions that he blamed on the low uptake among sections of the community. According to Bashir, the country risks witnessing a cycle of perpetual poverty if the correct information and services are not made available for the general population with the bulk being young people.
But even as the push for enhanced uptake of family planning commodities intensifies, experts have warned Kenyans against taking family planning commodities that have not been approved and registered by the pharmacies and poisons board (PPB). According to Dr. Albert Ndwiga, the family planning programme manager at the ministry of health, some of the pills that have illegally found their way into the Kenyan market are not safe for 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.”