, KISUMU, Kenya, Sep 14 – The government and its development partners have embarked on a multi-million shilling programme to reduce the ever expanding population growth in the country through use of contraceptives.
The two-year programme by the Ministry of Health, German Development Cooperation and Bayer Schering will see the improvement of maternal and newborn health through innovative interventions.
Head of GTZ reproductive health Dr Patricia Odero said on Tuesday that the new programme aimed at training more Kenyans on family planning options.
“Lack of family planning trainings has been a major hindrance on the access to such services in the rural setup and more so fear of side effects of the family planning,” Dr Odero said.
Speaking in Kisumu during the launch of the programme, Dr Odero said there would be increased awareness on the importance of contraception among the rural population.
She said they would mobilise communities to support increased access to and use of family planning services, adding that Western Kenya had a high unmet need for family planning services.
She said that the Sh52 million programme would benefit those in Vihiga and Bondo districts through strategies that include availability of long-term contraception.
The 2009 Population and Housing Census revealed that the country’s populace was growing at a rate of one million people annually.
Dr Odero said among the married women in Nyanza province, the unmet family planning need for spacing was 19 percent while that of limiting birth was 13 percent.
She said Western province had 14 percent unmet need for spacing and 12 percent for limiting birth.
“Women in these provinces would like to either postpone their next pregnancies or limit them, but they are not using contraceptives,” she said.
According to the 2008/2009 Kenya Demographic Health Survey, Nyanza province had a fertility rate of 5.4 percent against the desired 3.9 percent.