- Child planning allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children.
- It improves women’s opportunities for education, employment, and full participation in society.
Recently, several prominent personalities, including Kilifi gubernatorial aspirant Kazungu Kambi, have been reported telling crowds at political gatherings to “multiply and fill the earth”.
This is not the first time that a public figure has made such a statement.
No less than five members of the National Assembly have been quoted in the media, encouraging their constituents to have more children so that their communities can capture leadership or get a bigger allocation of resources.
Many of them have been encouraging their audiences to stop using contraceptives and give birth to many children to boost their voting numbers.
Some, including a Cabinet secretary, have even gone to the extent of offering cash rewards for every birth or pregnancy.
Regrettably, the message by these prominent personalities is very compelling. It makes sense to many.
This especially so, with the thinking behind the so-called tyranny of numbers.
Many Kenyans will take this message seriously, and some will act on it.
This being the election season, chances are that many more politicians and other prominent personalities will say similar things and take similar actions (of rewarding pregnant women).
However, data shows that child planning and spacing is beneficial to women, families, communities and the country.
It allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children.
Anticipating, spacing and timing the birth of children has many proven benefits.
One of the most vital rewards is that it protects the health of women and children by reducing high-risk pregnancies and allowing ample time between them.
This is especially important for Kenya, which is walking the path of reducing maternal and child deaths.
Child planning and spacing also reduces poverty by contributing to economic growth at the family, community, and national levels.