NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – The government is now encouraging more Kenyans to visit public hospitals for their family planning services and information.
Head of Reproductive Health at the Public Health and Sanitation Ministry Dr Kigen Bartillol said on Saturday that by accessing the contraceptives from government health facilities, the public could avoid the implications that come with purchasing counterfeit products that are said to be in market.
“Whatever the government buys is of good quality. Each batch that we buy has to go through the National Quantity Control Laboratory and so the contraceptives from the government are safe and of high quality,” he assured.
There have been reports that emergency pills that are being sold in some of the chemists across the country could be fake raising fears of many unwanted pregnancies which could result in high abortion rates.
Mr Kigen also said that they were implementing measures to encourage the youth to start using contraceptives which would reduce the number of unplanned births in the country as well as boost the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate for all methods which currently stands at 39 percent.
“Our facilities are now youth friendly because they (youth) should not just access contraceptives but other reproductive health services that they may require,” he explained.
Studies indicate that the average youth becomes sexually active at the age of 17. Further the survey shows that more than a quarter of girls and women in the 15 to 24 age bracket do not use contraceptives which is a worrying trend.
Mr Kigen spoke during celebrations to mark this year’s World Contraception Day where men were called upon to participate in the planning of their families.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Ministry’s Director of Administration Amb Bruce Madete, Minister Beth Mugo said they are involving all stakeholders in these programs as a way of reducing the high unmet need for family planning.
It is estimated that the number of couples of reproductive ages and sexually active unmarried individuals in need for these information and services will grow by about 200,000 per annum in the period between 2005 and 2015.
This year’s theme “Your Life, Your Voice: Talk Contraception,” sought to encourage couples to talk about sex and contraception with the people they trust.
This would enable them to determine whether, when and how often to have children.
“Let us all join hands to improve the health of our people by spacing our families and having children we can maintain and sustain as a family and as a country,” said Mrs Mugo while pointing out that Family Planning is both a social and an economic issue.