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Issues addressedSome specific high-risk conditions, including post-partum hemorrhage, premature delivery, infections in pregnancy and family planning were addressed. Were added that various challenges in sustaining quality of reproductive health services at the dawn of the age of universal health care were identified. The doctors also observed that the frequent strikes by health workers over pay could undermine efforts to achieve UHC. In their final communique, the doctors expressed concern over the low uptake of vasectomy hampering planning efforts for male countrywide. They noted that less than one percent opted for sterilisation, blaming it on low acceptance level on males and females. “It is possible to extract sperm from those who have undergone vasectomy and use it to make more children in case they want more in future or marry other women,” said Elly.
Cases of infertilityDr Omanwa blamed late diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, including prostate cancer and uterine fibroids, for many cases of infertility. He said 15 per cent of Kenyans (or 7.2 million) were infertile, adding that the number could be reduced if Kenyans went for early diagnosis and treatment. He singled out gonorrhea as one of the diseases causing infertility, adding that there were more male than female who were infertile, though the latter bore the biggest blame “Many Kenyans are infertile because they sought treatment too late. Instead of going for diagnosis, some go to traditional medicine practitioners and go to hospital when it is too late,” he said. He spoke after meeting a woman at Msambweni hospital, who said she had a troubled marriage because she had not had a child for the last 10 years. The woman, who was set to undergo a surgical procedure for uterine fibroids, said: “I have had a troubled marriage because of failure to have a child in the 10 years of marriage. Only my husband has stood by me”.
Early checkupJoyce Kituku said only about three per cent of Kenyans went for early check-up for prostate and cervical cancers. She noted that 5,000 Kenyans were diagnosed with cancer every year and 2,500 succumb to the disease. “Infertility can be reduced by going for early checkups. At the moment, less than three per cent go for early checkup for cancer,” said Dr Kituku. Meanwhile, Dr Were noted that the emergence of cancer among children under 18 years, particularly cervical and breast cancers, posed a major health challenge. “We are concerned that breast and cervical cancers among persons under 18 years is on the rise. Some have blamed it on food and others on the environment,” he said. He called for an intensified campaign on the Female Genital Mutilation, which he said continued to affect reproduction health. Elly said they were also concerned about increased cases of unsafe abortion, which affects reproductive health even as the country strives to achieve the UHC. The Kogs president said unsafe abortion had caused stigma, particularly among girls of school-going age. He noted that there were 400,000 cases of abortion annually. Elly added that reproductive healthcare issues were the major causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.