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County launches strategic plan to boost uptake of family planning

Murang’a county government has launched a five-year strategic plan to boost uptake of family planning among local residents.
Currently, contraceptive prevalence in the county stands at 48 percent, with just a handful of people at reproductive age visiting health facilities to access medical advice about use of various family planning methods
In the strategic plan dubbed Murang’a County Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (FP-CIP) 2012-2025, the devolved administration through the department of health targets to attain 72 percent of contraceptive prevalence after a period of five years.
Speaking during the launch of the Plan in Kenol town, the County Executive Member for Health Mr. Joseph Mbai observed that family planning is an important pillar of safe motherhood to improve maternal health with a target of reducing maternal mortality ratio.
“The Government of Kenya recognizes Family Planning as an essential component of the development agenda and has in place Constitutional, Policy and Political commitments,” said Mbai.
In the plan, Mbai noted the devolved administration targets to conduct community advocacy, mobilization and education to the residents about family planning.
The CEC observed that it’s a worrying trend to see teenage girls fear getting pregnant more than contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
He said during the advocacy, young people needed to be engaged in education on sexuality to help them from interfering with their reproductive health through use of family planning methods without medical advice.
“In our hospitals, 24 percent of young girls have been visiting to access family planning methods, which shows that teenagers have been engaging in sex at tender age,” said Mbai.
He urged parents and the clergy among other community leaders to get committed in educating youth on sexual education.
The government, he said has set aside money to support educating the residents about family planning, adding that the trend of buying contraceptive pills over the counter is dangerous to the users.
During the forum, it emerged that about 40 percent of the women who attended prenatal and postnatal clinics were conversant with family planning.
The County Director of Health Services Dr. Winfred Kanyi observed that matters of family planning were wrongly perceived by sections of the public.
She stated that family is not only meant to curtail the number of children but also advocates and helps in spacing of children.
“Proper spacing of children usually enables better healing of the mother thus granting her good health; it has ensured better health and growth of children,” noted Kanyi.
She called upon mothers to visit medical facilities and get proper advice about family planning, cautioning that use of contraceptives without undoing some tests may prompt health complications in future.
The County Deputy governor Maina Kamau noted that family planning was very crucial in the development of the society and people needed to adhere to the information on how to properly manage their families.
“It’s the right time for our people to embrace family planning methods so as to have a family one can manage. The government is working to have a population it can take care of with the available resources,” added Kamau.
By Bernard Munyao

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