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World Vision promotes family planning

11 November 2013, 11:31

Nairobi - World Vision Kenya, the non-governmental organisation, has launched a Sh73 million (US$868 397) maternal and child health project aimed at improving the health of mothers and children in the country.

The project is aimed at enhancing local and global political support to increase and sustain investments in maternal, neonatal and child health including family planning programmes.

It is geared towards strengthening community awareness and civic actions for improved service delivery and use of Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (HTSP).

World Vision Kenya National Director, Dickens Thunde, said the project team would work with leaders to make local communities aware of the benefits on birth spacing.

“The focus of sensitisation efforts will be to raise awareness about Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy,” Thunde said.

Statistics from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey in 2009 indicated that half of all pregnancies in Kenya occurred less than 24 months after the preceding birth while 15 per cent of these pregnancies occurred within short intervals of less than 12 months and 35 per cent occurred within intervals of 12-23 months.

This does not augur well for the survival of the child and mother.

The project will first be rolled out in Siaya County, where infant mortality is high.

It is targeted to benefit 187 000 people. Infant mortality rate in Siaya is 135 per 1 000 live births against the national figure of 52 per 1 000 live births while neonatal mortality rate is at 117 per 1 000 live births in Siaya against the national figure of 31 per 1 000 live births.

World Vision International Director of Birth Spacing, Susan Otchere, said the project would reach187 000 community members during the three years of its implementation.

Otchere said recommended birth spacing was key in improving the health of children and mothers.

“Spacing children for at least two to three years apart improves the health and survival of both mother and child,” she said.

Siaya County Acting Governor, George Okode urged the community to embrace birth spacing, saying the County will support the implementation of the project.

The project emphasised on family planning and birth spacing as one quarter of married women in Kenya have unmet need for family planning.

Only 39 per cent of Women of Reproductive Age use a modern method of family planning.

– CAJ News

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