NATIONALNEWS

State raises red flag on high population growth

The government should rethink its family planning strategies in a bid to arrest runaway population growth.

Yesterday, the enormity of the challenge was captured by Planning and Statistics Principal secretary Saitoti Torome, who revealed that more than one million children are born annually.

He said at this rate, Kenya’s population will hit 80 million by 2050.

Torome said this is why the government will be forced to review the Population Health Policy of 2012 to have county governments raise money internally to address family planning as population growth threatens economic development.

“In this kind of scenario, family planning becomes very important considering the county and indeed the region’s domestic resources are not enough, while the developing story of geopolitics gives indication that the future is not rosy,” he said.

Yesterday, eight county governments committed Sh153.6 million as initial investment in a new initiative that seeks to scale up family planning services for the country’s growing urban poor.

These counties form some of the pioneer devolved units that have responded to a call requiring counties, to take the lead to improve the health and wellbeing of their populations in the face of dwindling donor funding for family planning.

Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Kericho yesterday announced their respective funding commitments knowing that every US$1 invested in family planning would reap the benefits of US$120 in future according to the Copenhagen Consensus Centre.

Speaking during the launch of The Challenge Initiative (TCI) locally dubbed Tupange Pamoja, that despite its importance, family planning services uptake is still very low.

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