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World Contraception Day 2020: Marching towards sustainable domestic financing of Family Planning in Kenya

Kenya’s World Contraception Day (WCD) was commemorated on Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at a function graced by the Chief Administrative Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, with the attendance of UNFPA Deputy Country Representative, Dr. Ezizgeldi Hellenov. The annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is about scientific advances in contraception tailored to enable couples make informed decisions regarding starting a family, and individuals make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with stakeholders hosted the event whose theme was ‘Sustaining Family Planning Services during the COVID-19 pandemic while marching towards sustainable domestic financing of FP in Kenya’. 

The occasion was used to raise awareness on how FP choices and opportunities have changed for girls and women since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a platform to mobilize support and goodwill for prioritization and continuation of FP services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Mwangangi stated that she was comforted that Kenya had made outstanding progress in in- creasing access to modern methods for fertility management from 36% of married women using modern methods of family planning at the launch of the World Contraceptive Day campaign in 2007 to a current regional high of 62%. During the ICPD 25 - Nairobi Summit in 2019, the Government of Kenya made 17 commitments aimed at achieving Universal Health Coverage, Ending GBV, FGM and other harmful practices against women and girls and ending the unmet need for family planning. The commitments also aimed at ensuring availability and accessibility of high-quality data for decision making at all levels and to address the unmet needs for family planning.

She further emphasized the importance of making family planning more accessible, noting that the Government was committed to providing quality family planning services. In 2019 and 2020, UNFPA mobilized USD. 4.8 Million and US$ 3.1 million respectively towards FP intervention in Kenya through the Ministry of Health.

Acknowledging support from development partners, UNFPA Deputy Country Representative, Dr. Ezizgeldi Hellenov further stated that in 2020, DFID has supported the Ministry of Health through UNFPA to procure modern contraception (Levoplant) to the tune of USD.1.3million.

The support will lead to prevention of over 175,000 unintended pregnancies, nearly 500 maternal deaths and 40,000 unsafe abortions over the next 3 years. The contribution from partners has translated into prevention of over 1,464,068 unintended pregnancies, nearly 1,439 maternal deaths and aversion of 890,168 unsafe abortions over the next three years.

The Deputy Country Representative said that providing access to contraceptives and reproductive health services helps women thrive and prosper in economies hit by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Dr. Ezizgeldi underscored the need for strong investment in Family Planning as an intervention for saving lives as well as attaining the demographic dividend. He appealed to the Government to en- sure that Family Planning commodities are adequately funded in the national and county budgets. “We must strengthen the supply chain system and take advantage of the wealth of technology available to improve efficiency and effectiveness in improving access to quality family planning services,” he stressed.