Owing to the rising cases of teenage pregnancies, a section of youths in Mombasa now want the County Government to invest in family planning as a measure to curb the menace.
This has been attributed to the high demand for the family planning commodities that seem to have a vast majority of the youth as consumers.
According to the monitoring and evaluation manager at Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa (NAYA) Dennis Otundo, family planning commodities supplied mostly by Kenya Medical Supplies Agency KEMSA is insufficient compared to the needs and the young people population in Mombasa.
“There is no enough commodities within the County. KEMSA distributes most of the commodities but unfortunately, it takes quite long before they are disbursed,” said Otundo.
The activist further stated that action has to be taken to address the issue in order to complement the existing intensive awareness campaign at the grassroots on family planning.
However, His sentiments were challenged by Earnest Matho, a religious leader from Likoni Sub County who wants the youth to be educated on the side effects of family planning commodities.
According to him, parents, learning institutions and the community at large need to instill good virtues and ensure the youths adhere to religious teachings to avoid immoral behaviors.
“there is need for a multifaceted approach to minimize cases of early pregnancies in the region,” he argued.
Likoni area Chief Said Kandi echoed his comments citing single parenting and poverty as some of the reasons leading to escalated cases of teenage pregnancy.
He accused parents on claims of forfeiting their parental obligations.
“We need to protect our young people. parents ought to be responsible thus a need for them to actively play their role,” he said.
According to Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, the total fertility rate in Mombasa County stood at 3.2 percent with teenage pregnancy standing at 16.6 percent.
The absorption of women of reproductive age stood at 51 percent with the survey indicating that women within the age bracket of 15 -24 engaged in premature sex.
Dream Achievers Youth Organization- sexual health and reproductive rights officer Gaitano Muganda, says there is need for the County to consider implementing Youth Friendly Services to enable easy access.
In 2016/17 Family planning estimates stood at Ksh 115,070,358. With the same estimates standing at Ksh 85,807,394 in 2017/18 and Ksh 102,564,557 in 2018/19.
According to another source, African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) 2013 the contraceptive prevalence rate was 43.6 per cent a number that is believed to have risen by now.