The Homa Bay County government has intensified sensitization to increase the uptake of contraceptives.
The Director of Health and Planning, Collins Odeng, said statistics indicate that only 23 per cent of the targeted population in the county have embraced various contraceptive methods.
He, however, noted that there was an improvement in uptake from 14 per cent six months ago.
Odeng said that there was a need for residents to fully embrace family planning programmes.
The director was speaking during World Contraceptives Day in Adiedo Market, accompanied by 360 Programme Coordinator at Population Services Kenya, Wanjiku Gattoni King’ori, and Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET) Homa Bay Representative Enoch Oloo.
Odeng noted that embracing family planning helps lower infant and maternal mortalities.
He said that the county still faces a challenge in the uptake of family planning methods due to negative cultural beliefs.
“We’re asking residents to embrace the use of contraceptives. Health promoters are on the ground to sell the agenda so that we get ways of addressing both infant and maternal mortalities,” Ondeng said.
Some methods of contraception include oral contraceptive pills, implants, injectables, patches, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices, condoms, male and female sterilisation, and fertility awareness-based methods.
Ondeng urged residents to shun myths surrounding family planning methods, saying such myths have contributed to the low uptake.
According to statistics from the health department, maternal mortality in Homa Bay was 583 per 100,000 live births in 2014.
The rate has been reduced to 516 per 100,000 live births based on the 2022 Kenya Demographic Health Survey.
Ondeng’ said some cases of deaths at delivery are attributed to failure to embrace family planning.
He said when women plan on when to give birth, they can easily avoid developing complications in the delivery room.
This year’s theme is The Power of Options, where anyone can choose from a variety of options offered for family planning.
Odeng noted that, besides complications at birth, failure to embrace family planning leads to poverty.
He said the county government, in collaboration with other partners, was working towards increasing awareness of various family planning methods.
By Davis Langat