Kenyans are embracing modern family planning methods, with new data revealing dropping birth rates.
This emerged Friday at a stakeholders meeting by the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) to validate the Draft Population Policy and NCPD Bill.
According to the report, family planning has yielded numerous benefits for families with every woman getting an average of three to four children.
However, this varies among counties. “ Family planning use has been steadily rising but county differential persists” the report states.
Six Counties namely Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, and Narok have the highest fertility rates with six or more children per woman.
This may have been influenced by cultural practices and beliefs that have a direct effect on fertility.
Of concern across the country is the high adolescent birth rate which stands at 18pc. The Council points to a worrying trend where underage girls aged 10 to 14 years are increasingly giving birth.
The number of reproductive women (15-49) has also risen to more than half of the female population.
Noncommunicable diseases and injuries have also been identified as the top leading causes of death.
The average life expectancy for Kenyans has increased to 67 years, 18 years more than 50 years ago, with women expected to live longer than men at 69 and 64 years respectively.
The data further links the likelihood of dying to age, sex, occupation and social status.
Persistence prevalence in communicable diseases, maternal, nutritional, and neonatal conditions, and road injuries remain worrying contributory factors to high mortality rates which the government has been challenged to address.
Although HIV/AIDS is still a major cause of death among adults, chronic diseases contribute to about 27pc of total adult deaths.
The leading cause of death among those aged between 15 and 19 years is HIV/AIDS for girls and road accidents for boys, whereas females between the ages of 30 and 34 have succumbed to maternal conditions and their male counterparts to TB.
Those aged between 60 and 64 years have lost the fight to noncommunicable ailments with men dying of stroke and women of Ischemic heart diseases.
Child survival rates have however improved since 1999 with infant mortality rate reducing from 77 deaths to 44 while those under five from 115 to 52.
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