Kenya, an East African country of 43 million people, has set a target of 2.1 percent annual population growth rate by 2015, the head of the East African country's Reproductive Health Program said on Friday.
"The government believes 2.1 percent is more sustainable than the current 2.9 percent, considering the country's public service, " Manager Kigen Bartilolsaid of the Division of Reproductive Health Program to reporters ahead of the World Contraception Day (WCD) celebrations which are marked on Sept. 26 annually.
He noted that approximately 1.4 million babies are delivered every year in Kenya. "We estimate that 80 percent of these could be unintended pregnancies," Bartilol said.
Director of Public Health Shariff Shahnaaz said that only 46 percent of women in reproductive age in Kenya use contraceptives.
"We want to accelerate the implementation of targeted interventions so that we achieve a family planning use target of 56 percent by 2015," Shahnaaz said.
Family Planning Commodity Manager Jonah Maina said that the government will spend 9 million U.S. dollars in the current financial year on contraceptives.
The manager said that the youth comprise 45 percent of Kenya's population. "The government hopes to develop an evidence based guide on youth reproductive health."
Family Health International Senior Technical Officer Jones Abisi said that Kenya's fertility rate stands at average of five children per woman. "However, an average of two to three children would be more ideal," he said.