Afya Halisi’s Kuria family planning project targets men, end politician call for more birth

Family Planning champions Caleb Mwita (39) and Jane Mohabe (35) at Kegonga Sub-county Hospital during a meeting on Wednesday

By MN Reporter

Afya Halisi, a USAID funded project, is rolling out a program targeting men and politicians from Kuria community to increase the uptake of family planning.

Afya Halisi officer George Ayoma said they have established a group of about 100 men and women, who are champion users of family planning and trained over 500 community health volunteers.

“The group meets at community level in a group of about 15 people and openly discuss issues around family planning, which is more direct compared to messages reached via mass media,” Ayoma said.

He said the group then encourage women and men to seek services at health facilities.

“Our biggest challenge in the area have been men who believe women who undergo family planning are promiscuous and politician who want people to give birth to more children to boost their numbers,” he said.

A champion Mwita Mwita Gisunti, 54 years old, said he got married in 1992 as a 22 year old man and because of family planning managed to have only four children, the eldest being a trained teacher while the last born is in class four.

“By that time family planning was unpopular, but my age mates have over 10 children within the same period which has been a burden in health and finances,” he said.

Afya Halisi officer George Ayoma

Caleb Mwita, 39, construction worker and a husband of two wives both of them on family planning with three children.

The two said fear that women who use family planning end up in adultery have been the main myth driving low in take in the area.

Ayomo said calls by politicians to have more birth as the Kuria community seeks a new county has also contributed to low intake.

In the last census, Kuria region had a population of 305,385 out of 1,116,436 in Migori county population which has led to politician calls for women to give birth more.