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Central Kenya leads in contraceptive use

02 October 2012, 16:27 Joseph Wangui

Ladies from central Kenya region are the best users of contraceptives and other methods of family planning in the country. The National Council of Population and Development-NCPD regional population coordinator Fedelis Ndung’u said that about 67 per cent of fertile women in the area are under contraceptive according to NCPD records.

She attributed their use to the slow growth of population in the area which she claimed is growing at the rate of 1.6 per cent according to the 2009 census. She added that the growth rate is the lowest in the country, claiming that other parts recorded a three per cent growth.

The country’s population has been increasing by about one million people in a year. However, she said the use is in line with government’s policy to advocate for family planning, claiming that the same is pertinent to economic status in the country. “We are advocating for family planning and advicing couples to have a number of children that they can sustain in provision of good education, healthcare and housing,” said Ndung’u, adding that the health of women with limited children is usually better than those getting children yearly. She attributed the high use of the family planning methods to high literacy level among women in the region. “Women in this region are devoting much of their time in academics.

They also have much knowledge on different ways of family planning and therefore manage to keep the number of children they bear in check,” she continued. She also noted that NCPD is campaigning and persuading couples to plan their families and have a number of children that they can be able to bring up without constrains and offer them quality and standard life. She said her department has also been campaigning for male involvement in contraception use which she admitted seems to be hitting a snag due to culture.

She however, downplayed claims that illicit brews were a contributing factor to the low population growth saying it was as a result of contraceptive use. “Illicit brews can be blamed for high irresponsibility in many families but not in making babies,” she noted. On the issue of low number of children attending schools in the recent years, the official said that it was due to the region’s economic viability. Many people have afforded to take their children in private schools rather than public ones.

She said those who have been releasing reports on decrease in number of children attending school take their data only in the public schools, forgetting that the number of schools has also increased and especially private schools which they overlook. "Those who release those statistics only visit public schools where there are low numbers of pupils," she pointed out.

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