Kenya on the verge of meeting family planning target

Wednesday March 7 2018

birth control pills. Kenya's population will have almost doubled.

A pharmacist displays birth control pills. Kenya has improved in its contraceptive prevalence rate following a rise in the use of modern contraceptives. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI
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Kenya has revised its contraceptive prevalence rate to 66 per cent by 2030 and 70 per cent by 2050 following a rise in the use of modern contraceptives.

Contraceptive prevalence rate, or CPR, is the percentage of women of reproductive age (15 — 49 years) using a modern contraceptive method.

According to Josphine Kibaru-Mbae, director general of National Council for Population and Development, the revised targets follow the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) that indicated the most recent family planning uptake among married women improved from 39 per cent in 2008–2009 to 53 per cent in 2014.

With this, the country surpassed its 2015 target of 52 per cent. Moreover, given the trend in growth of the modern contraceptive prevalence rate, Kenya is likely to achieve its 2020 target of 58 per cent by 2018.

“In other words, the actual growth in modern contraceptive use was more rapid than projections, including those of the 2012 Population Policy for National Development. It became apparent that the goal needed to be revised upward,” said Dr Kibaru-Mbae.

Hitorical trends

Demographers estimate that CPR grows by about two per cent annually, based on historical trends.

“The main reasons behind the increase in uptake of family planning in the country is increased awareness and education to the public on use of contraceptives.

Also the government’s efforts of the use of community health workers to promote use of contraceptives,” said Joel Gondi, head of the reproductive and maternal health services unit at the Ministry of Health.

Mr Gondi said that more married women use modern family planning methods especially the injectable than traditional methods.

The KDHS 2014 data indicate that injectables are the most widely used modern method (26 per cent), followed by implants (10 per cent) and the pill (8 per cent). With these increases in modern contraceptive use from 2008–2009 to 2014 there has been a decrease in fertility rates, from 4.6 to 3.9 children per woman.