•Head of promotive and preventive services at the ministry of health Dr Andrew Mulwa told journalists the national government has gradually increased domestic financing for family planning commodities so there are no problems when donors exit in 2026.
•Mulwa said Kenya has recorded improvement in family planning uptake among women of reproductive age with 52 per cent of those eligible, representing 5.2 million women, using modern family planning methods.
Kenya will no longer receive free planning products three years from now, the Ministry of Health says.
The country is now classified as a middle-income country, which means the government progressively pick the family planning cost from donors.
Head of promotive and preventive services at the ministry of health Dr Andrew Mulwa told journalists the national government has gradually increased domestic financing for family planning commodities so there are no problems when donors exit in 2026.
“The government allocated Sh559 million for family planning commodities in the 2020-2021 financial year, Sh563 million during 2021-2022 while Sh1.19 billion has been set aside for the 2022-2023 financial cycle,” said Mulwa.
However, contraception methods that are currently free may be available at a small fee if the government decides not to fully subsidise them.
Some partners including Bill and Melinda gates foundation, Usaid and UNFPA have pledged to provide monetary support to bridge the financing gap with supply requirements standing at Sh2.5 billion during this financial year.
Mulwa said Kenya has recorded improvement in family planning uptake among women of reproductive age with 52 per cent of those eligible, representing 5.2 million women, using modern family planning methods.
Speaking during a round table meeting with health journalists on Thursday, Mulwa said the government remains committed to addressing existing gaps with statistics indicating a gradual improvement in uptake.
This even as he raised concern over the low uptake of family planning commodities among men despite them having the greatest influence on reproductive matters.
“If we don’t take care of the population now, we will take care of the negative impact of population explosion in the immediate future” observed Mulwa.
Speaking at the same forum head, department of family health Dr. Issak Bashir decried deep-seated societal myths and misconceptions that he blamed on the low uptake among sections of the community.
According to Bashir, the country risks witnessing a cycle of perpetual poverty if the correct information and services are not made available for the general population with the bulk being young people.
But even as the push for enhanced uptake of family planning commodities intensifies, experts have warned Kenyans against taking family planning commodities that have not been approved and registered by the pharmacies and poisons board (PPB).
Dr Albert Ndwiga, the family planning programme manager at the ministry of health, said some of the pills that have illegally found their way into the Kenyan market are not safe for use.
Thursday’s engagement between health journalists and senior ministry of health officials came ahead of this year’s World contraception day celebrations which will be marked on September 26th. The 2022 theme was “Breaking myths in family planning.”
"The Family Planning (FP) Program was introduced in Kenya in the early 1960s as a result of the government's concern about the rapidly rising population.
Facing an annual growth rate of three percent, the government incorporated family planning into the overall development policy. The total fertility rate (TFR) was very high, at 8 children per woman. The 2019 census reported a total fertility rate of 3.4," he said.