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Only 41pc of Busia residents embrace family planning

Many couples across Busia County continue to shun family planning for various reasons, a survey indicates.

According to the Director Medical Services Dr Janerose Ambuchi,  religion, stigma and traditional beliefs are the major stumbling blocks in efforts towards enhancing the uptake of family planning (FP) in Busia County.

Speaking to the press during the commemoration of the World Contraceptives Day at the Busia County Referral Hospital (BCRH), it emerged that only 41 per cent of the total population of about 900,000 people in the county have embraced the use of family planning.

Dr Ambuchi said that despite the role played by FP in the management of families, many couples have shied away from getting contraceptive services.

“The uptake of Family Planning in Busia County is slightly above 40 per cent due to barriers among them stigma and traditional beliefs. Most people are misinformed about FP hence they hold negative perceptions about it,” she noted.

About the myths that come alongside the use of the contraceptives, the young people interviewed believed that their use could make them infertile in future, while the married and unmarried women believed that they cause fibroids and cancer.

“We encourage couples to embrace family planning to have families that they will be able to look after. Let men go for vasectomy, the myths of producing deformed children by mothers, who were on contraceptives is far from the truth,” added Dr. Ambuchi.

She further added that the Department of Health and Sanitation is committed to ensure that locals are sensitized on the importance of family planning.

Ms Annet Eroni, a mother of two from Matayos Sub County said that FP has been of great help to her family especially during these hard economic times.

“The cost of raising many children is always high and if we continue to have high fertility rates, families will break down because of heavy responsibilities. Together with my husband we decided to embrace family planning for purposes of being able to cater for our needs,” said Eroni.

Her sentiments were echoed by the County Reproductive Coordinator Magdalene Ikaal, who counseled Busia residents on the need for responsive parenting.

Ikaal noted that, “We should ensure that families have few and manageable children where they can have sound education and live a quality life, rather than having too many and abandoning them for others to take responsibility.”

According to a 2013 UN report, only 0.1 per cent of men in Africa had entertained the idea of vasectomy.

By Absalom Namwalo

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