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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
UN commend Kenya for expanding family planning access   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has overcome numerous obstacles linked to under-funding, policy disconnect and entrenched cultural myths to inch closer to attaining universal access to family planning, a UN official said on Tuesday.

Speaking during an occasion to mark World Population Day in Nairobi, Ademola Olajide, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative said improved access to modern contraceptives has unleashed economic, social and health benefits in Kenya.

“Kenya’s commitment to achieve the global family planning targets has not escaped our attention. The country not only attained the 56 percent target agreed by the international community but also surpassed more developed economies in the continent,” Olajide said.

The 2017 World Population Day, with the theme “Family planning, empowering people and developing nations,” sought to inject fresh impetus on a global debate on how to accelerate access to birth control options among women of child-bearing age.

Kenya is among African countries grappling with a rapid population growth and its negative impacts like poverty, unemployment, crime and depletion of vital ecosystems.

Oladije urged national leaders and policymakers to prioritize investments in family planning in order to improve the lives of women and enhance their contribution to economic growth.

“Both the national and county governments should increase the budget for family planning services and address barriers that hinder access that include lack of awareness, cultural taboos, poverty and broken health systems,” said Olajide.

He added that multilateral agencies will support grassroots interventions to promote uptake of modern contraceptives in Kenya.

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