Kenya records remarkable increase in use of family planning

by MMC
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By Lénah Bosibori

Kenya has recorded notable progress in surpassing its 2020 Family Planning (FP2020) target of 58 percent modern contraceptive prevalence.

Speaking in Nairobi at the follow-up meeting of the Network of the African Parliamentary Committee on Health (NEAPACOH) with members of the Kenyan Parliament, Dr Edward Serem, Head of the Directorate of Reproductive Health and Maternal Care at the Ministry of Health, said impressive progress in scaling up the adoption of modern family planning methods has enabled the country to exceed its FP2020 target of 58 percent modern contraceptive prevalence.

“Since 2012, about two million women were using family planning and currently in 2023 we have added another 2.5 million, which indicates that the demand for family planning is increasing because people need this service,” Serem said.

Kenya was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to adopt family planning (FP) as national policy, leading to the creation of a national family planning program that is among the most successful in the region.

Dr Serem also noted the reduction in maternal mortality from 488/100,000 live births in 2008 to 355/100,000 live births.

“Kenya has gradually improved funding for family planning commodities in the current 2023/2024 financial year budget, one billion Kenyan shillings has been allocated for the purchase of family planning and reproductive health commodities and as you As you know, donor funding is decreasing while we ensure that our own funding is able to fill the gap,” said Dr Serem.

Serem also noted that with the increase in the use of family planning, the ministry was able to avoid several 2.4 million unwanted pregnancies, 600,000 unsafe abortions and 10,000 maternal deaths.

“One of the leading causes of maternal mortality is bleeding before or during delivery followed by obstructed labor due to delays due to accessibility to facilities where some walk for more than 20 to 30 kilometers without transport at times” , added Serem.

Dr Serem is committed to ensuring that every death is accounted for and that there is a reduction in teenage pregnancies. “Let us keep children in schools, colleges and engage in productive activities,” Dr Serem said.

Serem added that despite the challenges faced, progress has been made over time. “Funding for family planning has improved. If we do not get enough funding and family planning commodities, unwanted pregnancies and abortions will increase,” Serem said.

In his opening speech, Hon Dr. Robert Pukose, Chairman of the National Assembly Health Committee, said that as members of the National Assembly, they were creating an enabling policy environment to be able to increase the national funding for sexual and reproductive health and family planning services. goods.

“We hope that funding for family planning commodities by 2026 will also be financed from our national resources, as donor funding has declined over time,” Pukose said.

Furthermore, Pukose said he had actively participated in the implementation of the Kampala Call to Action through cross-border collaboration and information sharing, with the aim of addressing health challenges that transcend borders, such as as pandemics and the movement of diseases.

“The health committee is working on the Kenya Medicines Authority Bill which is in committee of the whole, the bill will enable Kemya to reach level three maturity and once it reaches that maturity In addition to other World Health Organization (WHO) requirements, Kenya will then be able to manufacture vaccines that can be used within the global community,” Pukose said.

Beatrice Okundi, Deputy Director of Population, National Advocacy, National Council for Population Development (NCPD) said allocation of funds for family planning commodities has been a challenge.

“Sometimes family planning commodities are not fully disbursed, and in some cases, when they are fully disbursed, they are not fully used,” Okundi said.

“We must maintain our advocacy agenda and identify champions within health committees who may be able to support this national financing program, thereby making family planning an important strategic commodity, especially now that donors are are going,” Okundi said.

Dr Rose Oronje, Director of Public Policy and Knowledge Translation and Head of AFIDEP Kenya Office, committed to working with the Ministry of Health, Parliament and the NCPD to provide data and evidence.

“The data we need to inform the development of regulations and the strategies that are going to be developed to implement the newly signed bills, we are happy to support the synthesis and analysis of the data necessary for this purpose, and we are very keen to strengthen them. capacity,” Oronje said.

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