Last week Monday was World Contraception day. I got the opportunity to celebrate it by attending Kisumu county celebrations held at Nyalenda Health Center. After a couple of skits and poems, it got me thinking deep on what society really perceives about contraceptives.
Who is contraceptives meant for? Man/woman. How accessible are contraceptives to the African man/woman? Is it dangerous to introduce contraceptives to teenagers ? What are the myths that surround use of Contraceptives?
Not being able to conceive, child deformities and not going to heaven are among the numerous myths surrounding use of contraceptives. Despite the myths, contraceptives have steadily gained fame. Talk of Kenya for instance ,where most family planning methods are offered for free in most health facilities.
I thought sanitary towels should also be made free…just thinking.
Growing up I always believed that family planning was for husband and wife. Period. I was wrong. Today Family planning methods are used by any sexually active being. People as young as 12 are introduced to different forms of contraception by parents /guardians. Watching #TeenmumsOfKwale… and I ask myself which way is the right way? Introducing contraceptives or preaching abstinence. It is no lie that teenagers today are sexually active. Well, do we need Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Schools?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but facts will always be facts. Taking the bull by its horns will mean that sexually active teenagers are introduced to contraceptives. It may be a moral issue but it will be a risk worth taking. Young children end up being young mothers and drop out of school yet they should be in school worrying about education and not otherwise.
Talking of husbands and wives, I have witnessed cases of family planning being labelled woman’s business. When a man and woman have a number of children considered ‘many’, woman is the one to blame. You will hear whispers as she passes by, “chi Onyango cha nyuol ka oyieyo nade? ( Why does Onyango’s wife give birth like a rat?)
There are contraceptives that favor men, like Condoms and Vasectomy (they never want to hear of this one). Ease the burden of the woman by choosing either methods. Talking about contraception and supporting the woman in accessing the right contraceptives (female ones), is also a sure way of easing the burden.
Contraceptives have been made accessible and available to Kenyans by the government and various NGO’s. It is one’s choice to use contraception and everyone is entitled (even teenagers) to quality healthcare, contraceptives is among them.
When the famous book quotes “go and fill the earth…” , we ought to remember that the same book advises on having a number that you are capable of taking care of…so plan well.
Until next time, Live, Laugh, Love *insert smiley face*