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No more than four children for Busia mothers

20 February 2014, 14:34 Jane Zack

Busia - Busia County government has affirmed that it will not encourage mothers in the County to have more than four children and is therefore appealing to parents to positively take up the message of family planning and have children whom they can comfortably raise as per their economic circumstances.

Speaking during a Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum in a session with health workers held at a Busia Hotel, County Deputy governor, Kizito Wangalwa reiterated that their desire as a government is to reduce the fertility rate, unwanted pregnancies and levels of abortion in the County by increasing the uptake of methods of family planning.

“Given the queues that come to our offices for bursaries and support, the situation in Busia County is not rosy and mothers need time to take care of the children, have a livelihoods and jobs, as opposed to the situation now,” Wangalwa noted.

He further cautioned that the survival of children is not dependent on how many they are, but upon the care that each one is given.

“With a population that is increasing by the day in Busia, the situation is becoming very difficult as the county poverty level is standing at 67%. The more children we have per family, the more difficult it is going to be to provide for their basic care such as education, health services and shelter,” the deputy governor added.

Professor Richard Muga observed that they found that in Siaya and Busia, the parity of the average number of children per family is fairly high and that family planning uptake is low.

He said that they took the initiative to support family planning program that would bring the different methods and a process that educates the family through community health workers in the two counties.

“As much as family planning is voluntary, we are soliciting on the County government of Busia so that they can embrace this effort to be able to set aside resources that will manage to expand this care,” Muga disclosed.

Executive Director African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Dr. Alex Ezeh said that if the health of mothers has to be improved, family planning must be targeted urging Busia governor, Sospeter Ojaamong’ to consider setting aside resources for family planning.

“I challenge the counties to step up in the game and roll out the agendas and programs and also increase male involvement in family planning,” Ezeh said.

Some of the stakeholders present in the forum were Busia County Director of Health Dr. Mellisa Lutomia, County Chief Nursing Officer Assumpta Matekwa and speaker of the County Assembly Benard Wamalwa.

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