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Low contraceptive uptake in Kitui as myths, misconceptions rife

Negative myths and misconceptions are still the greatest hindrances to optimal uptake and use of modern family planning methods in Kitui County, according to a report by Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA), an agency specializing in reproductive health surveys.

Speaking after presentation of the 2020 Kitui County family planning survey findings in Kitui Town, PMA’s Senior Technical Advisor Mary Thiongo said lack of comprehensive information on modern contraceptives was to blame for the apathy.

“We established that about 53 per cent of women of reproductive age in Kitui don’t have access to proper information on usage and possible side effects of the various conventional family planning methods.

“The situation has allowed unfounded myths and misconceptions to take the center-stage thereby making a section of the women to shy away from contraceptives,” she said noting that only a paltry 4 per cent improvement in contraceptive uptake had been recorded between 2014 and 2020.

Ms Thiongo, however, noted that the county health department was working on an action plan aimed at bridging the information gap.

The officer also pointed out that 43 per cent of teenagers in Kitui were actively engaged in sexual relationships, out of which 7.7 per cent were on modern family planning methods.

“The trend is worrying but county government has committed to put in place measures to equip the adolescents with proper information regarding sexual and reproductive needs,” she said.

By Yobesh Onwong’a

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