NAIROBI (TrustLaw) – Kenya has one of the world’s highest unplanned pregnancy rates, causing its population to grow by one million people a year, The Standard newspaper says.
The new State of Kenya Population report shows 1.8 million married women have unplanned births every year.
The report's launch came as the world population hit 7 billion.
In Kenya, 26 per cent of women have an unmet need for family planning, it said.
High rates of sexual violence, limited access to family planning and poverty mean 43 per cent of pregnancies are unwanted.
The government said it aimed to boost the use of family planning methods from 46 to 56 per cent in the next four years, according to the newspaper.
Officials said the greatest constraint to providing women with contraceptives was the government’s overdependence on donor funding.
Although the 2010 constitution permits abortion in cases where the woman’s mental or physical health is at risk, the service is rarely offered in government facilities.
As a result, at least 2,600 Kenyan women die in public hospitals each year after having botched backstreet abortions.
Many more die at home without seeking medical care. And another 21,000 are admitted for treatment of abortion-related complications.
Kenya has a population of 41.6 million.