BURDEN TO DONORS

Budget cuts blamed for decline in family planning uptake

State did not allocate any cash for family planning in 2017-18

In Summary

• Between 2016 and 2019, number of women of reproductive age accessing family planning services reduced from 46 per cent in 2016-17 to 42 per cent 2017-18. 

• Sh120 million was allocated in 2016-17 for family planning which was used to procure 4.8 million cycles of contraceptive pills, no allocation in 2017-18. 

Contraception is for both partners
Contraception is for both partners

Have you ever missed your contraceptive of choice in the market last three years?

According to a government report, many women stopped using modern contraceptives after missing the commodity in the market. 

The report by the Health Sector Working Group noted that the government’s failure to allocate a budget for procurement of family planning commodities in 2017-18 resulted in reduced uptake of contraceptives. 

Between 2016 and last year, the proportion of women of reproductive age (15-49) accessing family planning services and commodities decreased from 46 per cent in 2016-17 to 42 per cent 2017-18, only slightly increasing to 43 per cent in 2018-19. This, the report adds, was contributed largely by challenges in contraceptive commodity security that has seen the country experience persistent stock-outs of family planning commodities.

For instance, Sh120 million was allocated in 2016-17 for family planning and was used to procure 4.8 million cycles of contraceptive pills. However, there was no allocation for procurement of family planning commodities in 2017-18.

This left the burden of providing contraceptives to donors and development partners. Despite the reduction in contraceptive uptake, the prevalence rate among married women of reproductive age rose from 53 per cent in 2014 to 61 per cent in 2018, according to data from the Ministry of Health. 

This was attributed to increased advocacy for contraceptives, leading to more people adopting family planning methods. 

Family planning is a key component of Universal Health Coverage that enhances the well-being of mothers and children, as well as promoting the socioeconomic status of individuals, families and the overall population. 

The government identifies family planning as a pillar of the improvement of the health status of women and their families, as documented in the Kenya Development Plan Vision 2030, the National Reproductive Health Policy and the Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan (2013-18).

The national target is to achieve a modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 58 per cent by this year, 66 per cent by 2030 and 70 per cent by 2050 among married women.

Development partners in the last budget provided more pills and implants, despite studies showing that most women prefer injectable contraceptives.

Edited by R.Wamochie