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Special mechanism needed to enhance contraceptive uptake

[DSW Kenya's Advocacy officer Ms Hellen Kuria. Photo/ Haramo Ali]

There is a need to have a customized community-based approach that will ensure awareness on contraceptives penetrates to the grassroots.

This follows an accountability study conducted by DSW Kenya that aimed at identifying failures and gaps in service delivery and thereafter develop solutions to solve the problems.

According to DSW Kenya’s Advocacy officer Ms Hellen Kuria, she noted that Kenya has made progress in improving access to modern contraceptives but added the urgent need to bridge the gap that is to further enhance the uptake.

She reiterated the importance of prioritizing the provision of basic education on health matters revolving around family planning and contraceptives while demystifying the myths clouding contraceptives.

“Communication is paramount in tackling prevailing sex education outcomes as well as the prevalence of HIV/AIDS thus disseminating the right information to the masses to increase the uptake on contraceptives,” said Ms Hellen.

Data has indicated Mombasa County with a population of slightly over 1.2 million people, 364, 000 among them are of reproductive age while the majority being the youth, a customized program needs to be in place with a policy that will enable a smooth and successful implementation phase.

Improved access to low-cost contraception and its uptake through family planning programmes has reduced high-risk pregnancies; maternal and child mortality; teen and unplanned pregnancies; and, improved child health and nutrition.

Since the outbreak of the Covid -19 pandemic in 2020, it has negatively impacted the well-being of women in multiple ways, including contraception, family planning and gender-based violence.

The consequences include millions of unintended pregnancies, more girls being forced into marriage, and additional cases of gender-based violence in the first six months of lockdown alone.

Ms Hellen reiterated that joined efforts need to be in place from the National Government as well as that of the County with relevant stakeholders to run an extensive awareness campaign that will educate the public on health issues pertaining to family planning especially the youth on the importance and safety of contraceptives.

In addition, the county ought to establish and improve access to services especially to the people living with disabilities while further pushing to see budget allocation to enable quality service dissemination to the masses.