Kenya contraceptive prevalence increase. Nairobi (KENYA) October 3, 2019

The Government is committed in  ensuring universal availability and security of contraceptive methods, to meet the demands of Kenyans of reproductive age in managing and attaining their desired family sizes.

Speaking during the celebrations to make the World Contraceptive Day today the Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki said contraceptive prevalence rate among married women has increased  to 58% from 46 % in the last decade with a decline in unmet need for Family Planning to 18%, amid challenges of teenage pregnancy that still contribute to high maternal mortality and morbidity.

There has also been a decline in fertility rate from a high of 4.6 to 3.9 children per woman over the same period and expansion of adolescent and youth friendly services in line with the national adolescent sexual and reproductive health policy.

But a lot needs to be done since early marriage and cultural barriers are still limiting access and utilization of maternal and child health services including family planning, the CS said.

She noted that through Linda mama program 62% of births are now occurring in health facilities and 65% of pregnant women are delivered by skilled health personnel.

“Evidence informs us that every $1 spent on investing in contraceptive services will save $2.20 in maternal and newborn healthcare as a result of a decline in unplanned pregnancies,” she noted and revealed that the Ministry of Health and County governments will be applying a multi-sectoral approach.

Among other approaches is the  increase of financing in the health sector, including ensuring the resourcing of family planning and reproductive health services,  alignment and harmonization of development partner resources towards Country priorities and investments in priority interventions such as family planning.

Through the National Scaleup of the UHC Program, the CS said focus will be on inequities, particularly in marginalized counties with high fertility and low family planning use.

The government will also enhance the use of technology and innovation in access to reproductive health information especially amongst the Youth and Adolescents among other strategies.

This year the CS announced Kenya will host a high level global International Conference in Population Development (ICPD)  25 in Nairobi from 13th to 15th November 2019, to take stock, re-energize and accelerate the promise made in Cairo 25 years ago.

The world contraceptive day celebrations were graced by various dignitaries including Kisumu East Member of Parliament Shakeel  Shabir who reiterated their commitment as parliament  to reproductive health, acknowledging  its critical role in achieving economic goals.

This year’s WCD theme was  ‘The Power of Option.’