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Lamu launches Sh137m project to improve contraceptive use



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Lamu County has launched a three-year plan aimed at increasing the rate of contraceptive use from 43 percent to at least 46 percent by the year 2020.

The Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (FP CIP) outlines county-specific strategies for this goal to be achieved. In Lamu, the project will cost about Sh136 million.

According to the plan, Sh64 million was set aside for CIP activities for 2018, Sh40 million for 2019 and Sh33 million for 2020.

During the launch of the programme on Thursday evening, county medical services director, David Mulewa expressed confidence that the rate of contraceptive use will improve.

“This plan is the product of a structured strategic planning process which involved extensive consultations with several stakeholders,” Mr Mulewa said at Mwana Arafa Hotel.

Medical services chief officer Abubakar Badway said the project is timely as family planning is the most cost-effective way to prevent maternal deaths.

The county has one of the highest numbers of maternal deaths in Kenya – an estimated 676 for every 100,000 live births, against a national statistic of 362 for the same number of births.

“Family planning also contributes to economic growth and reduces child mortality and cases of unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions,” said Mr Badawy.

County health executive Anne Gathoni said women who use modern methods of contraception are better suited to ensure the security, education and general wellbeing of their families as they do not end up strained.

Ms Gathoni asked men to lead the family planning campaign instead of leaving the burden to women.

“I am aware that many men have turned the deaf ear to family planning. I advise them to stand with their wives in this as it is for the benefit of all,” she said, adding development is easier in a county that controls its population growth.

County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri asked the people to shun traditions against family planning for the sake of smaller, easy-to-manage numbers.

“Lack of family planning is the main reason why many people can’t take care of their families. We have seen men leave their wives and children after realising they had too many children than they could care for,” he said.

“It’s time to take responsibility and save families the struggle and stress of caring for large families.”