Residents of Kisumu County joined the global community in commemorating the International Contraception Day (WCD) that is celebrated annually on 26th September around the world.
The event focuses on the vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth celebrated and accounted for and where women, babies children and adolescents survive thrive and reach their full social and economic potential.
The commemoration was presided over by the County Director for Public Health Mr. Fredrick Oluoch representing the CECM for Health, Prof Boaz Nyunya, at St. Benedict Nyang’oma Sec School in Muhoroni Sub County.
This year’s theme is “maintaining family planning services during Covid-19 pandemic, while marching towards sustainable domestic financing for family planning” with the mission to improve awareness on contraceptive methods so that all men, women and the young people around the world can make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health.
In his speech, the County Director for Public Health, Mr. Fredrick Oluoch said that the county government of Kisumu has prioritized Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in line with the governor’s manifesto among the priority interventions, for improving maternal and child health outcomes and improving access to quality family planning services.
He confirmed that the county is working to improving access to quality family planning services in line with Covid-19 guidelines adding that on 12th August 2020, the County launched the Kisumu County Costed Family Planning Implementation Plan (FPIC-2019-2023) in partnership with KMET and other stakeholders.
In addition, the county ‘s health department has disseminated the Kenya Covid-19 reproductive, maternity, newborn child, adolescent health (RMNCAH) guidelines which will provide a practical guide for the continuity of reproductive, maternal, newborn and family planning care and services in the background of Covid-19 pandemic.
Kisumu County residents were urged to continue adhering to the Covid-19 containment measures to help curb the spread of the virus in the county as Mr. Oluoch lauded all the partners for their continued support in the delivery of the Reproductive Health Services and activities in Kisumu County.
The county government is working to increase awareness on the access to family planning services on the adolescents and the youth, while also striving to reduce sexual gender-based violence in the County.
Special appeal was made to the health care workers taking care of Covid-19 patients to exercise extra care on themselves to avoid contracting the virus.
Mr. Bernard Kigen who represented the National Council for Population and Development reiterated that they intend to ensure that family planning information is received by everyone in need of it. Sentiments echoed by the County Reproductive Health Coordinator Ms. Jane Owuor, who urged all pregnant mothers to attend antenatal care services so as to reduce maternal deaths which she said is still on the rise in Kisumu County as well as eliminating complications related to the same.
Ms. Jane also cited the need to reduce teenage pregnancies by creating awareness for the teenagers on the benefits of family planning adding that at least 16% of pregnant women who visit health care facilities are teenagers.
The partners were: Marie Stopes International, ADS Nyanza, KMET, Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa (NAYA), Afya Halisi, Sustainable Rural Initiative, Make Me Smile Kenya, Kisumu Progressive Youth and Sexual Reproductive Health Alliance Kenya.
Also, in attendance were:Nyang’oma Masogo Ward Administrator Mr.Apollo Lucy,Muhoroni Sub County MOH Rosebellah Amihanda, the Deputy Principle St.Benedict Nyang’oma Sec School Mr.Okal, Health Representatives from Muhoroni Sub County and Seme Sub County together with members of the local community.
By Jackline Apondi Omondi