Pastoral communities in northern Kenya have been urged to embrace family planning methods to reduce the worrying maternal and infant mortality rates in the region.
Speaking on Thursday during a follow-up family planning advocacy meeting, Embu County Director of the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) Beatrice Okundi said that the continued reluctance by pastoral families to embrace the various forms of family planning was to blame for high number of maternal and infant deaths.
“Only 27% of Isiolo residents are using the various forms of family planning, whether traditional or modern which is worrying as compared to the national figure of 58%,” said Ms Okundi.
The NCPD director added that since the onset of devolution, several county have put in place measures to improve maternal and child health indicators within the region.
“The department of health has been able to construct community units where volunteers are being used to help sensitize members of the public in order to ensure that expectant mothers receive proper care during delivery,” said Ms Okundi.
Now pastoral communities are being urged to embrace change and manage the number of children in their families witht he county calling on religious authorities to help change attitudes.
Extreme poverty levels and religion have been seen to play a key role in entrenching attitudes that have so far been detrimental to the health of the communities in the region.
Okundi reiterated that in order to forge forward as a nation, it was important for families to educate their children.
“A worrying factor in Isiolo is that many children are not educated and this leads to most of them becoming young parents as they do not have the basic education to make proper choices for themselves,” lamented Ms Okundi.
Isiolo County Assembly Deputy Speaker David Lemantile called upon the residents to take an active role in local affairs through public participation and formal presentation of complaints regarding resource management.
Mr Lemantile asked the public to shun from the culture of expecting monetary gains whenever they attend public participation forums as there was no budgetary provision for the same.