Marsabit County- September 27, 2023
Stock-outs caused by unequal distribution of contraceptives and inaccurate statistics of commodities available in government facilities has emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to access of adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Marsabit County.
County health officials made this revelation during a convening supported by KMET to evaluate the county’s adolescent reproductive health indicators and to realign partner and the department of health’s interventions to bridge the gaps.
The multisector meeting aims to harmonize the efforts of non-state partners, interreligious groups and different county government departments and comes just a day after the global World Contraceptive Day celebrations on September 26th.
Speaking this morning during the opening of the meeting that is currently underway at Sand and Rock Hotel, KMET’s Reproductive Health Program Associate, Caroline Nyandat expressed optimism that periodic joint planning and review meetings among stakeholders will yield effective service delivery to the county’s adolescents.
“We are excited about this collaboration and hope that we will harmonize and pool our energies to reverse these worrying statistics that we have seen here today,” she said.
Marsabit County saw a concerning decline in women using reproductive health services, dropping from 11% in 2014 to a mere 6% in the 2022 Kenya Demographic Health Survey. Additionally, the county recorded the third-highest teenage pregnancy rate at 29%, far above the national average of 15%.
The Director Family Health services, Bokayo Arero committed to two short term priorities that is overseeing development of a terms of reference for the multisector group that will be referred to as the ASRH technical working group moving forward and redistributing existing contraceptives based on demand, ensuring that every individual has access to the options they need.
“We will physically count available contraceptives through our subcounty pharmacists and clean the data we have in our system to allow the county to make accurate forecasts and orders of SRH commodities,” she added.
The technical working group will be addressing themes cutting across teenage pregnancy, HIV infections, maternal deaths and sexual and gender-based violence.
By Emmanuel Oyier