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Makueni County launches family planning strategic plan

By Erastus Mulwa | Published Mon, December 12th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 11th 2016 at 22:35 GMT +3
Governor Kivutha Kibwana

The county government aims to increase access to modern contraceptives to 72 per cent by the year 2020.

The government also seeks to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancies through adolescent reproductive health services. These are contained in the Family Planning Strategic Plan 2016-2020 launched by Governor Kivutha Kibwana in Sultan Hamud over the weekend.

The county's Department of Health Services, which drew up the plan, said once successful, the initiative would help fight diseases by removing barriers to health access in the expansive county.

Prof Kibwana said the programme would be sustained through the established framework of the recently launched free universal healthcare.

 "The Family Planning Strategic Plan 2016-2020 is designed to support the country's health sector in implementing the various health commitments," he said.

The governor noted that family planning had been proved to be the most cost-effective intervention in preventing maternal deaths.

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"Reducing unintended pregnancy through increasing access to contraception could avert 54 per cent of the total preventable maternal deaths and 47 per cent of preventable child deaths," Kibwana said. "In addition, family planning increases the economic growth per capita output by 20-30 per cent, which contributes considerably to the attainment of the sustainable development goals."

According to the strategic plan, the rising incidence of teenage pregnancies would be contained through provision of adolescent reproductive health services including family planning. Kibwana's wife, Nazi Kivutha, pointed out the high rate of teenage pregnancies and lobbied for education and provision of contraceptives for sexually active teenagers.

"We as parents need to appreciate the undeniable reality that most of our teenage children are increasingly exposed to sex and therefore we need to find a way to educate them and possibly make contraceptives available to them," she said.

Ms Kivutha also raised the red flag on the rising incidents of child prostitution within key towns along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

"The trend is quite worrying especially on the stretch between Konza City and Mtito Andei, and this should put all stakeholders on high alert," she said.

County Health Executive Andrew Mulwa said the strategic plan would be implemented at an estimated cost of Sh500 million.