CONTRACEPTIVE UPTAKE DROPS DUE TO COVID 19
Written by Celine Abuga on October 5, 2021
There have been claim on the drop in the use of contraceptives since the onset of Covid – 19 in Kenya, this may see Kenya record an increased number of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions, a report by the Ministry of Health shows.
We looked into the Ministry of Health- Kenya report and some NGOs on the claim and found it to be true.
Data by Kenya Health Indicator Survey (KHIS) 2021, shows that contraceptive use dropped from 5.4 million in 2019, to 5 million in 2020, attributing this to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Statistics from KHIS show that family planning visits have dropped significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic. This can be attributed to the adverse effects of the pandemic especially loss of sources of income for people,” said Chief Administrative Secretary of Health Dr Rashid Aman.
In addition, more than half of women using contraceptives at 54 per cent, use injectables as a preferred contraceptive method with emergency contraception, and female condoms being the least used, at only one per cent. Aman said in addition to creating awareness, the government will make contraceptives accessible to users.
Program Administrative at Network for adolescent and Youth of Africa (NAYA), Abdalla David confirmed that it is true there is a drop in contraceptive uptake because some facilities don’t have enough drugs thus patients get discouraged going to hospitals now and again and not getting drugs.
“Misconception on family planning continues to prevail in religious circles thus, presenting a barrier to the uptake of family planning services. To remedy the situation, we continue to engage the clergy in clarifying the myths and misconception,” said Dr Meshack Ndirangu, the Country Director, Amref Health Africa Kenya.
Apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization has noted misinformation as a barrier to uptake of family planning at villages.
Amref Health Africa has asked African states to increase budgetary allocation for family planning services. Director-General, the National Council for Population and Development Dr Mohammed Sheikh said NCPD continues with high-level advocacy towards increasing funding for family planning.
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