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Nearly half of married women in Kenya don't want more children

 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director-General Macdonald Obudho during the release of the Demographic and Health Survey report at KICC, Nairobi on January 17, 2023. [TV screen grab]

Forty-six per cent of married women in Kenya between the ages of 15 and 49 years have undergone sterilisation, (a permanent surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy known as tubal ligation), data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022 report shows.

The survey, the seventh of such released on Tuesday, January 17 in Nairobi, also shows that fertility rates in Kenya have dropped to 3.4 per cent in 2022 from 3.9 per cent in 2014.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Director-General Macdonald Obudho highlighted the differences in fertility preferences among married women.

Thirty (30) per cent of married women have the desire to have another child later, while 17 per cent are willing to have a child soon.

Two per cent of the married women in Kenya aged between 15 and 49 years are unable to conceive.

According to the survey, 63 per cent of women in Kenya use a method of family planning.

Those using modern methods of contraception account for 57 per cent, while six (6) per cent of women use traditional methods.

Broken down, the survey further shows that 20 per cent of women use injectables as a contraceptive method, 19 per cent (implants), eight per cent are on the pill, four (4) per cent use the intrauterine device (IUD), while six per cent use other methods such as sterilisation and male condoms.

Notably, Obudho said they expect the country's fertility levels to reduce further "if our policies and interventions are still pointing in the right direction".

The survey, which gives health indicators at both national and county levels to help with planning, is conducted every five years. The latest one was a collaboration effort of the KNBS and the Ministry of Health, together with various other development partners.

Prior to the 2022 survey, the last one was conducted in 2014, and the first one in 1989.

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