Politicians blamed for the booming population

APHRC Research Assistant Sherine Adhiambo
APHRC (African Population and Health Research Center) Research Assistant Sherine Adhiambo

African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) Western Kenya has blamed politicians for the rapid growth of population in the region, saying they encourage women to have many children.

The organization Research Assistant Sherine Adhiambo said during the world population day at Busia Polytechnic that the trend has been encouraged by the pursuit of the tyranny of numbers for the sake of politics.

“What happens after the elections? We shall work with politicians to embrace family planning among community members to have a healthy nation,” she said, adding that politicians can still win with few numbers.

Odhiambo regretted that the poverty index in Busia County has hit the 64.2 percent mark compared to the national figure of 54.2 while the population index stands at 60.4 out of a population of 743,000.

She said access to contraceptives in Busia is low. This is due to health scattered health facilities, frequent commodity stock out, lack of information on where to access the services, misconception and lack of support from major stakeholders.

Odhiambo said they are working hand in hand with County Governments and other organizations to invest in family planning so that communities can have access to the facilities and access services without fear of stigmatization.

Nambale Deputy County Commissioner said the current total fertility rate in Busia stands at 4.7 children per woman with contraceptive prevalence rate for those using modern methods standing at 57 percent. He said those who are not using contraceptives stands at 42.5 per cent.

Mutahi said there is a need for massive information campaign and activities for small family norms and family planning, adding that voluntary family planning is one of the most effective investments a country can make in its future.