The use of modern methods of contraceptives increased from 56 to 61 per cent in 2020, a new survey shows. The survey, which involved more than 9,000 women, also recorded a decline in unintended pregnancies from 42 to 37 per cent in the same period. It reveals that despite Covid-19 pandemic disrupting health services, women still sought emergency contraception, condoms, pills, injections and implants to delay pregnancy or space children.
“Unintended pregnancies have reduced from 42 per cent in 2019 to 37 per cent in 2020. In 2020, 28 per cent of the pregnancies were wanted later while 10 per cent of women wanted no more children,” the survey findings released yesterday say. Bungoma County had the highest use of contraceptives among married women in 2019 while Nandi had the highest number of married women using contraceptives in 2020. Nairobi County reported the highest increase in contraceptive uptake between 2019 and 2020.
The survey, conducted by Performance Monitoring for Action— a consortium that generates surveys monitoring key health indicators in nine countries in Africa and Asia— indicates that public and private hospitals continued to experience stock-outs. Majority of the hospitals (70 per cent) said they ordered the commodities but did not receive, which could be explained by interruption in the supply chain. Some (10 per cent) of the public hospitals reported that they experienced a dramatic increase in the demand for the family planning services. Generally, the report shows, Kenya meets 76 per cent of the demand for contraception by modern methods, a slight increase from 70 per cent in 2014, and 74 per cent in 2019. The survey revealed unmarried sexually active women are leading in uptake of contraceptives by 62.3 per cent compared to married women at 60.8 per cent.
The lead researcher of the survey Prof Peter Gichangi from the International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya (ICRH-K) said the government of Kenya amid Covid-19, put in measures that ensured continuity of Sexual and Reproductive Health service provision.
By: BERNARD GITAU