Nationally we have the population policy for national development 2012 which is a sessional paper, meaning that it was debated in parliament and agreed upon as the blue print to be used to manage population in the country. Using this blue print we collaborate with different sectors of government who are doing different aspects of population. For instance we are working with the Ministry of Health and our role as NCPD is to support matters regarding Family Planning which requires a lot of advocacy. Many Kenyans misunderstand family planning for birth control, which is not the case. Family planning implies having the desired number of children at the right time.
The current fertility rate is 4.6 children per woman which translates to about 5 children per woman, a number that is not really manageable even at the family level. Managing 5 kids and meeting their basic needs is quite a challenge even for a couple with significant resources. The target is 3.5 children per woman by 2015, 2.6 children by 2030 and replacement level of 2.1 children by 2050.
We are therefore working very closely with the Ministry of Health in planning in an effort to raise awareness and advocacy on the same. We have put in place national as well as county consultative forums.
We also work with other government bodies such as the Ministry of Education, Gender Directorate, Anti FGM Board among others; especially in advocating the girl child to get good and quality education, which keeps them in school and empowers them to make informed choices in the future.
We also collaborate with NGOs and other partners in population working in Kenya. The world is a global village and we in Kenya are thus implementing the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD-PoA), which is an international commitment that was signed by most countries in 1994, to ensure that population issues are incorporated into the lives and well-being of people, and that the people’s quality of life is improved.