•The ministry has acknowledged that despite the few numbers, men remain key decision makers in the community in the family set up and therefore their role in family planning remains very critical.
•Most women opt for the short term methods which expose them to long terms adverse effects.
Uptake of family planning by men remains a hard nut to crack by the ministry of health.
This is after the data by the ministry showed that less than 500 men underwent vasectomy in the last reporting year compared to more than five million men.
The ministry has acknowledged that despite the few numbers, men remain key decision makers in the community in the family set up and therefore their role in family planning remains very critical.
Head of preventive and promotive health at the ministry Dr Andrew Mulwa said due to the patriarchal nature of families, a lot of women are unable to access the family planning methods they desire because they have not had conversations with their husbands and their significant male partners.
“And that is why they choose the short-term methods, the injectables for three months so that the man will never see them swallowing anything. If they put the implant, the man is likely to know,” Mulwa said.
As a result, most women opt for short-term methods which expose them to long terms adverse effects such as loss of bone mass due to long-term use of short-term contraceptive methods.
“We need to get male champions. The reality of our population today is the younger man who needs to be involved and that should be the focus,” he said.
“Young men between the ages of 20 and 35 who are the family heads of the families in dire need of family planning are the ones that we need to involve rather than the elderly men of 40 and 50 who are almost retiring from that reproductive health space.”
According to data by the ministry, uptake of family planning has been on an upward trajectory from 51.9 per cent in 2020 with the uptake currently standing at 52 per cent.
The uptake among adults and young people aged between 10 and 14 years stands at 10,835 and 443,471 among those aged between 15 and 19 years while the uptake among those aged between 20 to 24 stands at slightly above 1.2 million.