Kenya scores highly in Africa on ease of access to contraceptives

More women and girls in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries have access to family planning than ever before. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

A new report places Kenya among the leading countries that have increased the number of women and girls accessing family planning services. The report was launched in Nairobi last week during the International Conference on Population and Development. It revealed that more women and girls in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries “have access to family planning than ever before”.

In these countries, 314 million women and girls are now using modern contraception, with 53 million being new users in the last seven years. Family Planning 2020, a global partnership that supports the reproductive rights of women and girls, prepared the report with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK’s Department for International Development and the United Nations Population Fund. This increment in use of modern contraceptives led to the prevention of 119 million unintended pregnancies, 21 million unsafe abortions, and 134,000 maternal deaths, the report estimates.

 In Kenya, the leading family planning methods include injectable contraceptives at 49 per cent, pills at 14 per cent while male condoms are at seven per cent according to the Demographic Health Survey statistics of 2014. According to the report, Kenya is on track together with Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to surpass the Family Planning 2020 goals set for growth in modern contraceptive use. The report shows that contraceptive use has risen in married women of reproductive age to 61 per cent which surpasses the country’s target of 58 per cent by next year.