About 30 percent of unmarried women in Kiambu do not use any form of contraceptives, frustrating efforts to control population through family planning.
According to a survey released by Performance and Monitoring for Action (PMA), despite the women’s desire to prevent pregnancies, they are on many occasions unable to access family planning methods or fear seeking for the services.
This is despite statistics showing that 26 percent of the county’s teenagers are sexually active.
Those who use contraceptives prefer seeking family planning education from chemists and private clinics due to the privacy therein, their friendliness and avoiding long queues at public facilities.
The research whose data were collected between November and December 2021 from 867 households further revealed an increase in the usage of a broader contraceptive method mix among all women, with increased use of implants accounting for 27 percent of the total method mix.
Research findings further revealed that about 80 percent of the county’s wealthy and educated women use traditional family planning methods, mostly periodic abstinence and withdrawal from sexual intercourse.
Nyambura Thiong’o, the PMA representative who oversaw dissemination of the new findings in Juja town on Saturday attributed the use of the traditional family planning methods to their safety and having lesser side effects as compared to the use of modern-day approaches like pills, injection, condom, female and male sterilization, and implants.
She lauded ths strides made by the county in the uptake of contraceptives saying it would help manage its population and resources.
Hilary Kagwa, the County Health Director in charge of Health urged teenagers to refrain from abuse of modern contraceptives stating that some of the emergency methods can result in delayed pregnancies and contraction of other diseases.
He said the county will work on availing information to teenagers about best family planning methods and sensitize them on the need for youngsters to abstain.
“We will unpack all the data released today and further explore the key areas of improvement. The survey will not only help us plan but will also help us create awareness on need basis,” said Kagwa.
The findings in the data were collected with the help of the Ministry of Health, International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya (ICRHK), National Council for Population and Development, and Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.