Kilifi county ranked 3rd in early pregnancy cases

A pregnant schoolgirl. PHOTO COURTESY

Kilifi, KENYA: Kilifi County has been ranked third in a list of counties with high rate of early pregnancies in the Coast region.

The report prepared by the County Government of Kilifi shows that the County has 22% of girls between 15-19 years affected by the early pregnancy menace .

Speaking during the launch of Kilifi County Family Planning Costed Implementation plan (2017-2021) on Thursday, Kilifi county coordinator of reproduction health, Esther Muema, said the indicators show that family planning is low.

“Kilifi County has an estimated Maternal Mortality ratio of 250 per 100,000 live births according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics situation analysis 2013 compared to the national MMR of 362 per 100,000 live births estimated by Kenya Demographic Health Survey in 2014. This is still high,” Muema said.

The report shows that the high ratio of early pregnancies and unmet need of family planning in Kilifi, has contributed much in the increased population of up to an estimated 1.4 from 1.1 during the 2009 census report.

According to Margaret Maila, regional coordinator National Council of Population development, various factors have contributed to early pregnancies.

She said cultural beliefs and lack of education have been the main factors especially in the rural areas of Kilifi County.

“This problem has many factors contributing to it, such as traditional myths and beliefs that a woman has to give birth to all the clan names. So if the names are nine for example she must give birth to all of them or even more,” she said.

Kilifi governor Amason Kingi called upon stakeholders to join hands to reduce and manage early pregnancies in the County.

“We believe that our joint efforts will lead to realization of the Family Planning 2020 goals as well as the sustainability Development Goals,” Kingi said.