Ministry in plan to fund birth control from State coffers

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH |

New mothers at Makueni Mother and Child Hospital, August 2021. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Ministry of Health has put efforts to strengthen the health system to improve the availability of reproductive health particularly family planning.

Speaking during celebrations to mark World Contraceptive Day, Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman said the government and its development partners have agreed on a formula that would have Family Planning fully financed domestically by 2024.

“I am glad to report that for the financial year 2021/2022 the health budget has increased from Sh111.7billion  to Sh121.1 billion. These funds will largely go towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which also covers family planning services. We are striving to ensure that post-partum family planning services get included as part of our Free Maternity policy,” assured Aman.

In line with this year’s theme of "Leaving No One behind: Expanding Sustainable Access to Contraception in the Covid-19 Pandemic and beyond", the ministry said it has embarked on a transformation strategy to close the funding shortfall.

These measures would ensure the long-term viability of Kenya's family planning services. To close the gap, the government and development partners agreed on a formula that would see FP completely funded domestically by 2024.

“The UHC and the country's health benefit package which Ministry of Health has developed, will also enable provision of Family Planning services down to more accessible facility levels,” he said.

According to Aman, contraception services have remained largely accessible to people in the high-income bracket while marginalized groups and persons living with disability have not been so fortunate.

Infographics: The Standard Checkpoint.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of Kenyans have lost their sources of income, and as a result, they are prioritizing the supply of basic needs for their families over reproductive healthcare.

“These inequalities pose a risk of reversing the progress Kenya has made in enabling access to modern contraception,” he said.

The Director General of the National Council for Population and Development Dr Mohamed Sheikh added that a reduction in fertility would provide an opportunity for accelerated economic growth. 

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