Kenya’s modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) stands at 58% (DHS, 2014). Under FP2020, the country has committed to achieving an mCPR of 66% by the year 2030. Today, this commitment is threatened by family planning commodity stock outs. To address this, E4A Mama Ye launched the #JazaShelves campaign in Nairobi and Bungoma counties. The campaign targets key decision-makers in county governments and the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority to ensure there is a constant and regular supply of family planning commodities to meet the demands of citizens and specifically women and girls.
When family planning commodities are not well stocked, women and girls are denied their right to decide if and when they have children and, crucially, how they manage this. It is the power of exercising these choices that can help prevent unsafe abortion, birth related complications and maternal mortality. Use of modern contraceptives can greatly reduce these risks and empower millions of women and girls not just in Nairobi and Bungoma counties but across Kenya.
In December 2017, 1 in every 11 women of reproductive age in Nairobi county and 1 in every 7 women of reproductive age in Bungoma county had an unmet need for family planning [they would like to delay or stop child bearing but are not able to]. Unmet needs leads to a high risk of unintended pregnancies (PMA 2020), which can impact upon the health and well-being of women, girls, their families and wider community. It’s time to take action!
THE #JAZASHELVES CAMPAIGN
The #JazaShelves campaign provides local voices with an opportunity to present the county government leadership with the evidence around family planning commodity stock-outs in their area. The campaign recognises the fact that family planning is not just an issue for women and a key element has been presenting both men and women’s voices and asks together.
Benedict Mutuku, a religious leader and a male champion for family planning leads a network of almost 6,000 men in Kenya. Benedict is one of the leaders of our campaign and has rallied his network in Nairobi county. Benedict during an interview with a local media station in Kenya said
When family planning commodities are available in our health facilities there will be reduced cases of unintended pregnancies especially among young adolescent girls
Getrude Wanyonyi, the County Chief Nurse narrates how counties can find solutions to bottlenecks in the supply of FP commodities to facilities.
I made a request to our Chief officer for Health to get a vehicle [logistical support] to Nairobi and collect our supply [of FP commodities]. I travelled to Nairobi and came back with a lorry full of FP commodities which will be redistributed to all sub-counties
OUR CALL TO ACTION
When county governments increase their domestic investments in health and channel resources towards improving the delivery of family planning services they will be able to realize sustainable growth. When developing their fiscal strategy for the year 2019/2020, we call on governments to ensure resources are set aside to facilitate regular delivery of FP commodities by KEMSA. Governments should also mentor service providers to accurately forecast, quantify and order FP commodities.
E4A Mama Ye shall continue to push for accountability and on a timely basis assess the stock-status of FP commodities in counties. Investing in family planning yields a lifetime of returns and we do not want to be left behind!