At least 500 young mothers aged 15-24 years in Magarini sub county, Magarini Constituency in Kilifi County have benefitted from economic empowerment and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) education programme.
Teenage pregnancies in most rural parts of Kilifi County has been a serious problem affecting social, economic and educational lives contributing to the dilapidated economy in the area.
The programme dubbed Binti Biashara implemented by Population Services Kenya (PSK) in collaboration with Maverric Next and the county government of Kilifi department of health has introduced ways to help young women to make decisions about their bodies, finances and education.
Speaking to the media during feedback meeting held by PSK and Kilifi County department of health stakeholders at Silver Palm hotel, PSK senior Manager Nancy Njoki said that more than 3000 young women have been enrolled to the program and 500 have already been economically empowered.
She reported that 0ver 48 per cent of young mothers in the region have been empowered through the project and have an income and 79 per cent are able to contribute directly to their families’ income.
Njoki reported that 23 per cent of the young mothers in the program have delayed pregnancies after receiving SRH hence reducing the rate of unwanted pregnancies in the region.
According to Njoki, Binti Biashara has linked 431 young mothers to community based mentors to be trained in hotels, beauty shops, hair salons and tailoring while 58 others linked to TVET institutions to receive vocational training.
She also reported that more than 90 per cent of the young mothers now understand the value of economic empowerment.
Kilifi County Maternal Neonatal Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Coordinator Ken Miriti said there has been an increase of young women receiving SRH services in the facilities thus reduced unwanted pregnancies.
He said that most teenage pregnancies are contributed to vulnerability factor existing among most young women in the region.
He lauded the program saying that empowering young women directly prevents them from transitional sexual intercourse that mostly lead to unwanted pregnancies.
Miriti said that younger women are now using long-term family planning methods in Kilifi County revealing that it is the most effective way.
He also reported that more than 74 per cent of men are cooperating with their female partners to use family planning methods.
By Treeza Auma and Harrison Yeri