Kenya's birth rate drops amid greater adoption of modern contraceptive methods-Xinhua

Kenya's birth rate drops amid greater adoption of modern contraceptive methods

Source: Xinhua| 2023-01-18 02:15:15|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The average number of children a Kenyan woman is bearing has dropped from 6.7 in 1989 to 3.4 in 2022, thanks to greater use of modern contraceptive methods, according to the 2022 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) released Tuesday.

Compiled by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the seventh edition of the demographic and health survey shows that 66 percent of married women were using a modern birth control method, boosting efforts to stabilize the population.

The unmet need for contraceptives had declined from 35 percent to 14 percent while skilled birth attendance increased from 66 percent in 2014 to 89 percent in 2022, leading to reduced maternal and infant mortalities, says the survey.

According to the survey, 46 percent of Kenyan women aged 15 to 49 have undergone a surgical procedure to cease childbearing, leading to a declining birth rate.

While acknowledging that 2 percent of married women in the country are unable to conceive, the survey notes that 30 percent of married women were keen on postponing childbearing.

Some of the reasons cited by the survey for the declining birth rate in Kenya include surging literacy levels among women and girls, rapid urbanization, changing cultural norms, and the quest for economic security among adult men and women.

Macdonald Obudho, the director-general of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, believed that targeted policy and financing interventions have contributed to the declining fertility rate, amid improved economic and health outcomes for both men and women.

Obudho said that investments in skilled birth attendance, childhood immunization, improved access to safe drinking water, and nutritional support have boosted the health of women and children in the country.

He added that a revitalized war against malaria, HIV and AIDS, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and micronutrient deficiency has also boosted survival rates for mothers and newborn babies.

Kenya's population stands at 47.5 million, based on the results of the 2019 Population and Housing Census.