Athi River 21st June, 2019 : Population Services Kenya (PS Kenya) and partners met to discuss actionable steps towards Delivering Equitable and Sustainable Increases in Family Planning in Kenya (DESIP) programme, a follow up Family Planning programme after the just concluded Delivering Increased Family Planning across Rural Kenya (DIFPARK) programme (implemented under project name ‘Enabling Sustainable Health Equity’ (ESHE)).
DESIP will be implemented in a consortium led by PS Kenya in collaboration with Population Services International (PSI), AMREF Kenya, Options Consultancy Services, Faith To Action (F2A), Health Right International (HRI) and Voluntary Service Overseas Kenya (VSO).
The expected program impact is reduction in maternal, new-born and child mortality while the program objective is to increase more equitable and sustainable access to modern contraceptives.
The key primary beneficiaries are poor women and adolescent girls, women under 20 years and people living with disability. Government health care workers and policy makers are the secondary beneficiaries.
Despite the great progress towards increasing uptake of family planning in Kenya, it has been noted that keeping family planning integral to development will require a multi-sectoral approach to ensure that different ministries as well as the devolved governments can support and utilize this crucial development intervention. (2016 Population Reference Bureau). This holistic approach should also not cloud the targeted efforts required to realize the fruits of every intervention.
Adoption of Family Planning can help improve sexual and reproductive health. Universal access to reproductive health and family planning not only improves women’s chances of surviving pregnancy and childbirth, it also contributes to related issues such as gender equality, better child health, an improved response to HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), greater education outcomes and poverty reduction. Universal healthcare which forms part of Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Well Being) and 5(Gender Equality).
The National Reproductive health’s Family program goal is to ensure universal access to a wide range of quality and affordable family planning information and equitable services to enable all individuals achieve their desired family size and improve their reproductive health. This goal has different strategies which includes: -1. Increase FP service uptake among special groups (Youth/Adolescents, PLHIV, PLWD, Hard to reach areas and displaced populations) 2. Improve capacity of service providers to offer quality FP services. 3. Strengthen FP commodity supply chain management and 4. Improve coordination of FP service provision nationally.
Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data shows an increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) among married women from 39% in 2003 to 58% (53% using modern methods) in 2014. However, the disparities and inequities are starker than ever before in Kenya.
In addition, a more recent Ministry of Health (MOH) 2017 data shows that CPR is below 60% in 34 counties and below 45% in 19 counties. Varied barriers to access of FP exist including limited access to services and low demand for family planning are key factors, reflecting weaknesses in public sector service coverage and quality, including shortages of contraceptives, and lack of alternative service providers. Socio-cultural factors, including the desire for large families, and financial and distance barriers prevent women and girls from seeking family planning services.
Through innovative and evidence-based market facilitation, and better targeted service delivery that reaches the poorest of the poor, the programme, funded with UK aid from the UK government seeks to deliver a more sustainable and healthier FP market in Kenya in the following 19 counties: Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Lamu, Kwale, Tana River, Mombasa, Baringo, Narok, Kajiado, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Turkana, Migori, and Homa Bay.