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How to deal with Trump's reduced health funding to Kenya

By Daniel Otieno | January 26th 2017

US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) comes with consequences.

It means unless there are other donors or unless countries like Kenya fund their own safe abortion programmes, pregnancy-related deaths will increase, as will cases of young girls seeking abortion from quacks.

According to the World Health Organization, every eight minutes, a woman in a developing nation dies from complications arising from unsafe abortion. Without immediate interventions in place, this number could double.

To mitigate the impact of Trump’s decision, we must promote the sustainability of our healthcare system to provide comprehensive abortion care. With proper accountability, county revenues and allocations from the national government can equip our health centres with birth control facilities.

While providing care for those already affected, we must also reduce further incidents of abortion. How? We must sensitise communities on the dangers of stigmatising underage pregnant girls. We must also build the capacity of youths and adolescents to practise safe sex.

Education on abstinence is okay but we cannot leave sex education out of schools. All stakeholders must be brought on board - parents, adolescents, clergy, education sector and development partners - to address teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

The media must be involved in disseminating information on the prevention of teenage pregnancies and reducing stigma. Men must be involved in family planning, prevention of teenage pregnancies and safe sex.

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