Kenyans prevented 2.4m pregnancies in 2023, says report

Kenya’s modern contraceptive prevalence rate increased from 39 per cent in 2014 to 58 per cent in 2021.

In Summary
  • About 6.5 million Kenyan women are using modern contraceptives.
  • Globally 800 women die every day in childbirth. About 218m women in the Global South want but lack modern contraception.
A pregnant lady
FAMILY PLANNING: A pregnant lady
Image: FILE

Kenyans prevented 2.4 million pregnancies last year by using  contraceptives, according to the latest estimates.

The new measurements show 6.5 million women are currently on modern contraception.

The figures, published last week, place Kenyans among the top contraception users in Africa.

At least 75.6 per cent of the demand for modern methods has been satisfied but an estimated 14.5 per cent of women who need the modern methods have access.

The figures were published last week by Family Planning 2030 (FP2030), a global partnership working with governments, civil society and donors, among other partners. to improve access to contraceptives.

FP2030, which has a regional hub in Nairobi, works to drive universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights by 2030, as laid out in Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5.

The report released last week is titled “Meeting the Moment: Family Planning and Gender Equality”.

The 2023 report shows significant achievements in family planning across the globe, even in the face of stagnant funding, according to a statement from the organisation.

"In this report, you will hear more success stories: more people than ever before are using voluntary, rights-based contraception. You will also learn more about the opportunities ahead,” FP2030 executive director Dr Samukeliso Dube said.

The links between family planning and gender equality are the central theme of this year’s measurement report. The data set covers 85 countries, including for the first time Botswana and Namibia, two middle-income countries that have now made commitments to FP2030, and Jordan, which has moved into the lower-middle income category.

In the 85 countries reviewed, more than 1 billion women of reproductive age were covered; an estimated 377 million of those women are using a modern method of contraception, 92 million more than were using a modern method in 2012.

"This year’s report comes at a critical time in our movement. We are at the intersection of several crises: globally, 800 women are dying every day in childbirth. About 218 million women in the Global South countries have an unmet need for modern contraception - meaning they want to avoid a pregnancy but are not using a modern method," Dr Dube said.

Through the steep increase in contraceptive use, Kenyans averted 608,000 unsafe abortions in 2023 and prevented 10,000 maternal deaths.

Injectables remain the most popular contraception method in Kenya favoured by 35.5 per cent of all women using modern family planning methods.

The second most popular method is implants at 31.5 per cent and pills at 12.6 per cent.

The current report is the first to fully reflect the impact of FP2030’s move to decentralise from one secretariat in Washington, D.C., to five regional hubs in Nairobi, Kenya; Abuja, Nigeria; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Panama City, Panama. This devolution ensures the partnership is driven by regional priorities.

 The report contains demographic updates from each region, as well as a special focus on postpartum family planning, a topic chosen by the regional hubs. It is considered a high-impact practice with demonstrated ability to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes and increase uptake of contraception.

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