Lack of contraceptives linked to increased maternal deaths


If all women in developing countries were able to use modern contraceptives, maternal deaths would be reduced by about a quarter, the UN has said.

Health CAS Rashid Aman said in the past decade, Kenya has made tremendous growth in achieving the usage of modern family planning methods.

“This has helped curb rapid population growth while driving national development,” he said.

He spoke at a Nairobi hotel when Health ministry officials marked World Contraception Day.

Dr Aman said the pandemic has affected marginalised groups in the access to family planning methods.

“In the 2021-22 financial year, the allocation of funds to health increased from Sh107 billion to Sh121 billion,” he added.

The UN Population Division's estimates show that in 2020, some 218 million women in developing countries wanted to prevent or delay pregnancy but were not using one of the modern, reliable forms of contraception.

Common reasons why women do not use reliable, modern contraceptives include logistical problems, such as difficulty travelling to health facilities or stockouts at health clinics, and social barriers, such as opposition by partners or families.

The UN population fund added that women and girls around the world face serious barriers to using contraceptives.

“Lack of knowledge also plays a role, with many women not understanding that they are able to become pregnant, not knowing what contraceptive methods are available, or having incorrect information about modern methods.”

According to UN, in developing regions, an estimated 218 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to information or services to lack of support from their partners or communities.

This threatens their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Infographics: The Standard Checkpoint.

Increasing knowledge about and access to modern contraception among adolescent girls is a crucial starting point for improving their long-term health, the UN added.

It is also essential for improving maternal and newborn health: around the world, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading killer of adolescent girls aged between 15 and 19.

Their babies also face a higher risk of dying than the babies of older women, the UN said.

It added that adolescents continue to face enormous barriers to accessing reproductive health information and services. 

ICT chief administrative secretary Maureen Mbaka said Kenya can use peer-to-peer communication to reach more people on utilizing technology to enhance family planning methods, especially among the youth.

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