, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development Chief Executive Officer Dr Boniface K’Oyugi has urged Kenyan women to embrace contraceptives as one of the main interventions on reducing the high population growth rate in the country.
He said on Wednesday that 25 percent of women who are supposed to be using contraceptives were not using them.
“Only 46 percent are using them; people should also make personal decisions to control the number of children they are getting,” he said.
Dr K’Oyugi further appealed to women who rely on old family planning methods to embrace modern one to control the number of children and provide proper spacing.
“Our grandparents used to say you cannot be pregnant if the last born child cannot take a plate of food to the father, also the mother and the daughter were not supposed to be pregnant at the same time, these are some of the methods they used to control birth rate traditionally,” he asserted.
He further emphasised on the urgent need for long-term programs to manage populations.
Dr K’Oyugi was speaking at a media forum on population trends, where former East African Legislative Assembly MP Ochieng Mbeo raised concerns of high fertility rates in the country which he associated to teenage pregnancy, inadequate use of contraceptives and lack of family planning.
According to a 2008 preliminary report by Demographic and Health Survey, Kenyan women have an average of 4.6 births.
The report showed that despite the fertility rate declining from about five children per woman in 2003 to between four and five children in 2008 the population growth rate was expected to grow to 82 million by 2040 due to high fertility rates in the country.
Mr Mbeo however said if the fertility rate would be lower the population would go up to 65 million by 2040 assuming a transition of replacement rate of 2 children per woman.
He appealed to development partners and other stakeholders to redouble their efforts in providing family planning methods and also urged the media to create awareness and encourage women to use family planning.