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Medic Advocates for Family Planning

There have been divergent views on the subject of Family Planning (FP), but regardless of the varying points of view, it has to be treated with the seriousness it deserves as it touches on women’s reproductive health.

The objective standpoint has been that a couple should have the number of children they can comfortably provide for in terms of basic needs and other requirements for a good life.

Dr. Maurine Okango, a gynaecologist at the Vihiga County Referral Hospital (VCRH), observed that FP is essential in order for women to maintain their desirable health status.

Dr. Okango explained that giving birth is associated with high blood loss and therefore doing so without spacing renders the mother weak due to low blood count.

“During childbirth, the mother loses a lot of blood and hence it is recommended that she have a break of two to three years before conceiving again,” she said.

She disclosed that most of the expectant mothers attending prenatal clinic are found to be anaemic, so they are given iron supplements such as oral folic acid tablets.

The doctor stated that pregnant women with low blood counts may give birth to underweight babies who would be susceptible to ailments.

There are various methods of birth control, including oral pills, hormonal coils, condoms, contraceptive patches, contraceptive rings, contraceptive implants, contraceptive injections, copper coils, cervical caps, sponges, sterilisation, and natural family planning.

“Women react differently to contraceptives and therefore they are advised to seek the doctor’s advice so that an appropriate method is recommended,” she said.

The gynaecologist revealed that an impressive number of women in Vihiga County have embraced FP, as demonstrated by the dropping number of children per woman in subsequent demographic surveys.

The medical officer, however, said some men were not supporting their spouses in the FP campaign and urged them to join the bandwagon.

By Ivonne Nasambu and Sammy Mwibanda

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