Shortage of contraceptives causing numerous risks, lobby groups warn

Shortage of contraception in Nakuru county and various parts of the country has been cited a major challenge in the reproductive health services.

Lobby groups dealing with reproductive health services are now calling on the government to step in and ensure the matter is addressed before more risks are felt in the community.

Speaking in Nakuru’s Free area over the weekend during a medical outreach organised by Reproductive Health Network Kenya, locals decried that access to contraceptives and family planning services remains a challenge.

Jane Wanjiru- a local lauded RHNK for organising such an outreach citing that many that due to high level of poverty in the area, locals cannot access Reproductive Health Services.

“Majority in this area are vulnerable and this makes it hard for us to access reproductive health services hence we need to have more of such outreaches” she said.

Similar sentiments echoed by Mary Kiranga who noted that effects of shortage of contraceptives has already hit the community leading to unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted infections among teenagers.

According to her more focus should be given to the community more so the informal settlements in addressing the same.

“When we have shortage of contraceptives including condoms, then the rate of STIs as well as teenage pregnancies goes up” she said.

Community Health Volunteers who have been working closely with locals say this is an urgent issue that should be addressed sooner than later to save a generation.

According to the CHVs, young people are the most at risk with the looming shortage of contraceptives and harsh economic times that makes majority of them also unable to access the few available contraceptives leading to high rate of STIs and pregnancies.

“We need to put more effort in helping the young people” stated Brenda Kadima.

Rose Akinyi Otieno, a reproductive healthcare provider at Mid-Town Clinic in Nakuru notes that the shortage of condoms is a crisis as it will lead to high cases of pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

Akinyi attributes the shortage to a short supply by the government, an issue she says should be addressed to avert loss of a generation.

“The government should move with speed and address the looming shortage of contraceptives and more so condoms in the country failure to which we shall continue to have many young people suffer” said Akinyi.

Sentiments echoed by Programs Head at Reproductive Health Network Kenya Brenda Boit.

Speaking at the end of the RHNK’s medical outreach in Nakuru that saw over 300 people beneficiaries majority of them being women of
reproductive age, Brenda called on the government and Reproductive Health service providers to work together in addressing the shortage of contraceptives.

She also called for a collective responsibility in ensuring access to reproductive health services by all urging men to also embrace matters reproductive health.

“The government should address the shortage of contraceptives soon.As RHNK we shall play our role that we can in ensuring that the Reproductive health services are accessible” said Brenda.

During the medical outreach, locals benefited from services such as Antenatal care/Post Natal care,Contraceptives/ Family Planning,HIV/STI counselling,screening and treatment, Breast and Cervical cancer screening, Hypertension/DM screening, Wellness baby clinic, BMI/ Dietary Counselling
and Psycho-social.
Other services included support SGBV and mental health,Male and Female condom distribution, Peer to peer SRH talks, Provision of sexual and reproductive health information and services.


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