Five children per woman: How Kenya lost family planning battle

On average, a Kenyan woman gave birth to eight children at independence, but this reduced to about five in the late 1990s. Planners hoped we would be having around two by now but we are still stuck at five. What happened? PHOTO | NATION

What you need to know:

  • Women who have gone to school are four times more likely to plan their families than girls who have no formal education; yet, as Kenya becomes more and more literate, there has been little change in levels of knowledge of contraceptive methods since 2003.
  • Rift Valley, Nyanza/Western regions recorded the highest abortion rates of 64 and 63 per 1,000 women of reproductive age, respectively. Eastern had the lowest with 20 abortions per 1,000 women.

In the first three decades of independence, Kenyan families began to have fewer and fewer children as the young country led sub-Saharan Africa in family planning campaigns.

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