Experts are concerned about high intake of over-the-counter birth control pills

Mombasa County has begun collecting data to determine the exact number of contraceptive users amid fears of many cases of over-the-counter birth control pills rather than clinical prescriptions.

Pauline Oginga, chief officer of the district public health, announced that an estimated 45 percent of people who have reached childbearing age visit hospitals for advice, screening, counseling and prescribing the right family planning method.

“We cannot control what is being sold over the counter, and at the same time not everyone meets the criteria for using certain family planning methods. You run the risk of developing advanced effects, ”added Oginga in an interview with KNA.

The county plans to reach 187,554 people of childbearing age with its family planning services this fiscal year.

The county had launched its family planning program 2018-2022, which aims to improve access to family planning services and raise awareness among residents of various family planning methods.

Oginga noted that six youth-friendly centers set up in informal areas a few months ago have helped many easily get family planning services.

She noted that the county has been innovating in encouraging locals, especially youth, to seek out health care facilities for adequate family planning services.

With its strategy and investment plan for the health sector (CHSIP II) for 2018-2022, the district aims to increase the number of women receiving family planning from 39 to 54 percent.

She added that, through her association, they have hired private pharmacies and pharmacies to exchange data for the proper establishment of contraceptive intake in the region.

The public was also warned that over-the-counter drugs could pose health risks as some pharmacies, especially those in back alleys, could sell counterfeit birth control pills.

“It has been said that the majority of those who prefer to buy contraceptives over the counter are men. We encourage our employees to visit our hospitals for advice on the right family planning methods, ”advised Oginga.

She warned that counterfeit, substandard, and counterfeit medicines could lead to unwanted pregnancies and health problems such as blood pressure and blood clots.

Oginga also called for the involvement of men in family planning decisions, revealing, “There are many methods available to men. For example the vasectomy, which is available to men, especially older people who have children. “

Last week, the county received a mobile family planning service clinic from the John Hopkins International Obstetrics and Gynecology Education (Jhpiego) program.

Paul Nyachae Mombasa is one of the ten counties that will benefit from wagons used as mobile clinics, according to Jhpiegos project leader, who is responsible for the Challenge Initiative (TCI) program.

Other counties that will benefit are Kilifi, Siaya, Vihiga, Migori, Nakuru, Bugoma, Nyamira, Trans-Nzoia, and Nairobi.

“The vehicle’s main initiative is to provide maternal and child health services in hard-to-reach areas and to create a decent environment for women, girls and children to access services,” added Nyachae.

Nyachae said the wagons donated through the Challenge Initiative program will complement the county government to bring family planning services to residents in informal settlements and other inaccessible areas.

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