USAID supports the Government of Kenya in strengthening its family planning and population program
Family planning saves lives, improves health, strengthens communities, and stimulates economic growth and is one of the best investments a country can make in its future. In Kenya, family planning is a key strategy for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the government is committed to increase the quality, access and utilization of family planning as a critical public health intervention.
Until recently, users of modern family planning methods from low socio-economic communities obtained their contraceptives mostly from private health facilities. Women and girls who did not want to get pregnant lacked access to contraceptives, family planning information and counseling from government owned health facilities. To date, through partnerships with the Government of Kenya, USAID has supported the more than 4,200 service delivery centers achieved substantial improvements in family planning services.
Musoriot Rural Health Training Center in Nandi County is one of the family planning delivery center receiving USAID support. The Center serves a population of 42,000 and has been providing maternal child health and family planning services since 1979. Through its implementing partners, USAID has supported the Center with training, outreach services and supplementing the Government of Kenya's supply of contraceptives when there is shortage. “We have 20 nurses who have received training in Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD), Implanon and Jadelle through mentorship and on the job training with providers. These trainings have improved our providers skills and has given our clients confidence to come for FP services,” says Lilian Rono, clinical officer at the Center.
Outreach services through three mobile clinics have sensitized the Musoriot community on the importance of family planning. Adolescent girls are also sensitized on their constitutional rights to access health care services including family planning. “Family planning clients are making informed decision on their choice of contraceptive with majority requesting for long-term family planning methods; through sensitization, adolescent girls are no longer afraid to come for family planning counseling; postpartum mothers are discharged maternity with a family planning method; and clients have access to safe post abortion services,” says Mary Waruguru, family planning nurse at the Center.
To date, Musoriot Rural Health Center is one of the 4,200 USAID supported service delivery centers that have a 100 percent increase in family planning clients. USAID is supporting family planning in Kenya with funding that will ensure that every Kenyan women of reproductive age who wants to space or limit her births receives the services she needs to control her fertility and, to improve the overall contraceptive prevalence rate of women aged 15-19 who use contraceptives from the current 46 percent to 56 percent by 2015.
“Our improved quality of work and access to contraceptives has given our clients confidence that family planning services are always available at Musoriot Rural Health Center. We are very grateful for the support from USAID,” concludes Ms. Waruguru.
Story by Joan Lewa