Acting Health Services Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth.  [Samson Wire. Standard]

The Director of Health Services, Dr. Patrick Amoth has launched an initiative to promote self-injectable contraceptives. In conjunction with Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Dr Amoth said the campaign seeks to address access to crucial family planning methods, contraception information and services.

Through strategic advocacy, education and community engagement Dr. Amoth described the campaign as a great initiative that will dismantle barriers and provide comprehensive access to family planning and contraception services for all women.

 “In our journey towards Universal Health Coverage, our commitment remains that we shall leave no one behind; at the ministry, we see family planning not just as a cost factor but service delivery. Because of the multiplying effect of investment in family planning, this is a very important investment to spur economic growth,” narrated Dr Amoth.

The campaign shall run as a partnership between RHN-K, CHAI and the Ministry of Health’s Division of Reproductive and Maternal Health (MOH-DRMH) among other partners to address the interconnectedness between reproductive health autonomy, individual empowerment, and societal advancement.

“We want to address persistent challenges surrounding unmet demand for family planning and contraception services which significantly impact reproductive health outcomes, socio-economic development, and individual empowerment, said Nelly Munyasia the Executive Director at RHN-K.

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Partners present at Four Point By Sheraton Hotel for the launch included representatives from the Ministry of Health, civil society organizations, healthcare and professional institutions, academia and media.

Nelly while speaking to journalists after the event said that Chaguo Mkononi a Kiswahili phrase that loosely translates to "The Choice in Your Hands," is grounded in the principles of reproductive health autonomy, empowerment and gender equality, the campaign aims to empower women, to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

She further explained that RHNK also expanded their toll-free hotline, Nena na Binti Call Center, which translates to "Talk to a Girl."

“This digital intervention serves as a dedicated resource hub, offering unrestricted access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and support, free of stigma and discrimination. Anyone is free to call our toll free line 0800 211 227 to access information on family planning, referrals for contraception services, as well as legal and psychosocial support 24 hours a day,” said Nelly.

Dr. Edward Serem who heads the Division of Reproductive and Maternal Health at the Ministry of Health, said the campaign will also focus on the promotion of self-injectable contraception, particularly DMPA-SC (Subcutaneous Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate), “as a viable and empowering option and solution for women seeking reproductive health solutions. By emphasizing self-care interventions and the importance of informed decision-making, the campaign aims to foster autonomy, agency, and empowerment among women and girls throughout Kenya.”

The Chaguo Mkononi Campaign and the Nena na Binti Call Center are set to play transformative roles in advancing reproductive health autonomy, gender equality, and socio-economic development in Kenya. By empowering women with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to make informed decisions about their reproductive health, the campaign seeks to create a future where every woman can lead a healthy, fulfilling, and empowered life.

The campaign’s Call to Action is to Empower women through education to allow them make informed decisions about their reproductive health, and conduct community-based education programs to increase awareness and understanding of family planning options and to disseminate accurate information and dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding family planning.

The campaign also seeks to Mobilize stakeholders to advocate for prioritization and support family planning and contraception initiatives at both national and local levels. This includes increased funding, improved infrastructure, and the integration of self-injectable family planning into existing healthcare systems.