The Government is committed to 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.
Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki speaking last Wednesday said that the investment case for resourcing of contraception and broadly reproductive health services is undisputed with evidence that every $1 spent on investing in contraceptive services the country will save $2.20 in maternal and newborn healthcare as a result of a decline in unplanned pregnancies.
Kariuki who officiated World Contraceptive Day celebrations held in Nairobi noted that data also demonstrates a 75 per cent decline in induced abortions and a 75 per cent reduction in maternal deaths.
“Kenya has made notable progress due to contraceptive and reproductive health services, not only on the individual girl, and woman but also on the nation and its economic and social development,” said the CS who observed that “The contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR-any method) among married women has increased to 58 per cent from 46 per cent in the last decade with a decline in unmet need for Family Planning to 18 per cent.”
She reiterated that meeting the demand for modern contraception and reproductive health is linked to the achievement of several SDGs in particular SDG 1- on ending poverty, SDG 3- Ensuring healthy lives and SDG 4-Ensuring equitable and quality Education.
She noted that her ministry together with County governments will strengthen interventions by applying a multi-sectoral approach to family planning including harmonizing of approach with line Ministries such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Gender.
“Increase 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 including investments in priority interventions such as family planning,” said Kariuki.
She further said that through the National Scale up of the UHC Programme, ensuring a focus on inequities, particularly in marginalized counties with high fertility and low family planning use, the government will ensure “no one is left behind”
It is against this background that Kenya will host a high level global International Conference in Population Development (ICPD) 25 Nairobi summit taking place from November 13 to 15, 2019, a meeting in which Kenya will lead the rest of the world to take stock, re-energize and accelerate the promise made in Cairo 25 years ago.
The celebrations drew speakers from across board with Kisumu East Member of Parliament Shakeel Shabir reiterating their commitment as parliament to reproductive health, acknowledging its critical role in achieving economic goals.
Others included a representative from the Council of Governors as well as international donors who called for domesticated funding saying that very soon Kenya will be stock out of contraceptives because they were likely to stop.
Today Kenya joined the world to mark the World Contraception Day; an important day in the annual calendar of global health campaigns, set aside, to raise awareness of contraception and to enable people to make informed choices on their reproductive health with this year’s WCD theme being ‘The Power of Option.’
By Alice Gworo