, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 26-As the world marked contraception day, Kenyans have been called upon to take charge of their lives by using dual protection to guard against unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Ministry of Public Health Division of Reproductive Health Head Dr Shiphira Kuria said on Sunday that this could be done through the use of condoms and or other contraception methods.
Dr Kuria noted that majority of the youths were sexually active and they needed to know the importance of taking responsibility through contraception.
“And we are not promoting sex among the youth; we continue to preach abstinence followed by faithfulness between couples or partners. But what we are saying is that, should anyone be sexually active, then they need to take responsibility,” Dr Kuria explained.
She said although contraceptives were easily available in the Public health facilities at a minimum fee, young people were still afraid to go for them due to fear of stigmatisation.
However, contraceptives are still not widely used in the country even among married couples.
A study conducted by the Centre for the Study of Adolescents last year showed that 60 percent of married women did not use any contraception. The report indicated that only 32 percent of married women used modern method of contraception while eight percent used traditional methods.
“Many people think that there will be many side effects when they use family planning methods but this is not true,” Dr Kuria said.
“There are side effects like in any other medicines but what people should do is to go to a health care provider, get information and be able to identify the suitable method for them and also continue with follow up,” she advised.
The report further indicated that 47 percent of men were of the opinion that women who used contraception could become promiscuous.
This years’ event was marked under the theme “It is your life, it is your responsibility.”
The 2009 population Census revealed that Kenya’s populace was growing at a rate of one million people annually.
The National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development predicts that Kenya’s population would nearly double by 2030 to reach 71.5 million if the current growth rate continued but this could be curbed through use of contraception.