Written by John Kabaka
Read 1167 Times
Breast feeding mothers with their babies.
Women in Kakamega Town led the rest from five major urban areas of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Machakos on fertility rating for women in reproductive age, according to findings of a new study commissioned two years ago.
The Kenya Urban Reproductive Health Baseline Household Surveys (Tupange) results released by Western Provincial Commissioner Samuel Kilele though women in Kakamega had an average of four children, considered very high, in their lifetime.
The women in the area had similarly the highest knowledge of their safe days, had a relatively free will to use contraceptives compared to those in other urban areas, but still gave birth to more children.
Contrary to perceptions that men are opposed to use of contraceptives by their wives, men in Kakamega were considered the most liberal on family planning issues with the survey showing that women in the town were the most independent on matters regarding the use of family planning methods and contraceptives.
The low usage of contraceptives among women in the area was instead blamed on lack of or infrequent sexual activity. Family planning services are most inaccessible to unmarried sexually active women. Wealthy women are reported to access family planning services more than the poor in urban area.
Tupange Project director Nelson Keyonzo said there is need to refocus family planning programs to address youth with demand-creation activities through use of the alternative media such as SMS via mobile phone services.
Kilele who officiated the release of the Tupange baseline survey results said there was need to provide correct information about specific methods of modern contraceptives to enhance the uptake.
However, the challenge according to the survey was the myths associated with use of contraceptives with some respondents alleging they had experienced decreased libido after use of contraceptives.
The survey was commissioned by the ministry of public health and sanitation and piloted in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Machakos and Kakamega.
The survey is intended to inform the interventions that can facilitate access to family planning services for urban populations.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), which under took the survey also released results of a survey of the family planning service delivery view point and the urban reproductive health supply chain surveys.
An officer of the Kebs Andrew Imbwaga announcing the findings during Tupange one day workshop at a Kakamega hotel said women in Kakamega town had the highest knowledge of their safe days compared to other surveyed urban areas with 33.1 percent responding positively.
More than 60 percent of respondents from surveyed areas have knowledge about the days a woman was likely to conceive.
In terms of safe child deliveries, Kakamega again topped the listing with only one in four women having home births.
Switch to Our Mobile Site