The number of women seeking permanent birth control procedures in Kenya increased by 13.5 percent last year highlighting the economic struggles of raising a family amid the effects of Covid-19.
Official data shows 4,107 women underwent Bilateral Tubal Ligation (BTL) procedures in 2022, an increase from 3,616 in the previous year.
BTL is a surgical procedure blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent the ovum (egg) from being fertilised.
A similar trend was recorded among males turning up for vasectomy; another method of permanent contraception.
Data shows the number of males who underwent vasectomy nearly doubled in 2022 with 557 males undergoing the procedure up from 248 in 2021.
“Permanent family planning methods recorded high uptake with the number of females undergoing sterilization tubal ligation increasing to 4,107 while male Sterilization Vasectomy recorded 557 clients during the review period,” shows the economic data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Family planning injections were the most popular method of contraception with 2.6 million people, of which 572,775 were new users. This was an increase from 2.4 million the previous year.
It was followed by Implants Insertions which registered 1.1 million clients attracting 566,769 new clients.
The number of women opting for the coil in 2022 had dropped 34 percent by 37,603 to 74,374 compared to 111,977 in 2020 as a result of limited access to health services due to stringent containment measures imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“There was a decline in the uptake of modern contraceptive methods except for Pills Combined Oral Contraceptives and Sterilization for both males and females,” the KNBS acknowledged.
Kenya’s population growth rate has been slowing down over the years as a result of literacy among women as well as continued awareness of the use of family planning which contributes to low birth rates.
The country registered the slowest population growth rate at 2.2 percent to 47.56 million from 2009 to 2019, according to the Population and Housing Census latest data.