KENYA – According to the Ministry of Health in Kenya, authorities have urged the national government to invest more in sexual and reproductive health and rights during commemorations to mark this year’s World Contraception Day.

Every year on 26th September, World Contraception Day is premised on contraceptive choices that ensure every pregnancy is wanted by promoting family planning and contraceptive methods that are safe and preferred by the users.

Kenya joins the global community to commemorate the campaign to ensure information and knowledge on voluntary family planning, which is universally accessible to all women of reproductive age in retaining and managing their desired families, is achieved.

The Ministry of Health announced that the Government of Kenya is working towards improving sexual and reproductive health literacy to address contraceptive fears through appropriate and gender-specific interventions to reach the youths with factual information.

The ministry highlights that by helping women and girls limit pregnancies, provision of family planning services is a cost-effective intervention that saves the lives of women and children.

In addition, the Government is working towards strengthening the use of community outreaches and counseling by community health volunteers to influence knowledge, attitude, skills, and practices related to family planning use at the community level.

Head Directorate Preventive and Promotive Dr. Andrew Mulwa, who was representing Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, said misinformed decisions have contributed to poor health outcomes for the mothers and their children.

Despite our successes in family planning service provision, myths, misinformation, and misconceptions around modern contraceptives are an existential threat to family planning uptake in Kenya,” he observed.

He further explained that the youth below the age of 25 constitute approximately 66% of the country’s population and are the most vulnerable constituency to myths and misinformation.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, who was among those present during the celebrations, called for a holistic approach to family planning to ensure all social economic characteristics of the unmet needs are comprehensively addressed.

Despite the huge challenges, the country has recorded improvement in family planning uptake among women of reproductive age with 52 percent of those eligible using modern family planning methods.

In the wake of interruptions occasioned by the COVID -19 pandemic, the country developed national guidelines and innovative strategies to protect gains made in family planning such as use of tele-medicine services,” the health ministry underscored.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Kenya Anders Thomsen commended the Government of Kenya on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that sets up a sustainable financing mechanism for the procurement of family planning commodities.

Thomsen further acknowledged that the financing mechanism has the goal of gradually increasing the national budget allocation for the procurement of commodities up to 100% in 2026.

The Government allocated US$4.64M (KES 559M) for family planning commodities in the 2020-2021 financial year, US$4.67M (KES 563M) during 2021-2022 while US$9.9M (KES 1.19B) has been set aside for the 2022-2023 financial cycle.

In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNFPA and other partners have pledged to provide monetary support to bridge the financing gap with supply requirements standing at KES2.5B during this financial year.

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