KEMSA to distribute 450,000 doses of injectable contraception


KEMSA received donations of 450,000 doses of a self-injectable contraceptives from UNFPA for distribution across three months.

The contraception, scientifically known as Depot Medroxy-Progesterone-Acetate (DMPA), was procured by UNFPA with Sh57 million (£348,000) funding from the UK government.

"This milestone underscores our collective commitment to addressing the unmet need for family planning services and improving health outcomes for women and families across Kenya," Health CS Susan Nakhumicha said. She was represented by acting director general Patrick Amoth at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority in Nairobi.

The CS said the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey Key Indicator Report of 2022 showed Kenya has an unmet need for family planning of 14 per cent, with a target of reducing it to single digits by 2030.

Nakhumicha said Kenya has a target of modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 64 per cent by 2030, against the current 57 per cent.

"Beyond the numbers, the impact of our efforts is profound and far-reaching. By averting unintended pregnancies, maternal deaths and unsafe abortions, we are not only safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens but also fostering socio-economic development and prosperity," she said.

UNFPA said the Subcutaneous Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate doses will simplify and enhance the accessibility of family planning.

The UN agency described the DMPA-SC as user-friendly, saying it can be administered by trained individuals including community health workers and women themselves.

UNFPA said the government has made significant progress in promoting access to family planning, with the modern contraceptive prevalence rate rising to 57 per cent in 2022, up from 53 per cent in 2014.

During the same period, the unmet need for family planning was reduced from 18 per cent to 14 per cent.

Despite the progress, however, barriers such as the high financial cost of access and uncertainty over supply continue to hinder efforts to meet the demand for family planning.

"Funding for the family planning programme is a vital component of the support we receive from the UK government, as it ensures that women can access and choose from a range of quality family planning methods, no matter where they live in the country," UNFPA Representative Anders Thomsen said.

"This in many ways helps us deliver on the commitment to end preventable maternal deaths."

In 2023, UNFPA supported the Ministry of Health in expanding access to family planning commodities and services by procuring a range of family planning methods distributed to more than 6,000 health facilities in the 47 counties.

The commodities served more than 2.5 million women of reproductive age.

In his address during the handover, deputy development director at the British High Commission, Eduarda Mendonca-Gray, said sexual and reproductive health and rights are a key priority for the UK.

"The evidence confirms that access to and availability of family planning commodities reduces poverty, enhances prosperity and provides dignity for women," he said.

He said they will remain committed to working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health to empower women to plan for their lives and future and to decide when to have children by choice not by chance.

The UK government has been a longstanding partner of UNFPA and the Government of Kenya in efforts to ensure Kenyan women and girls have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

The contraceptives handed over on Thursday are expected to benefit more than 400,000 women of reproductive age, contributing to the prevention of 42,750 unintended pregnancies and 122 maternal deaths.