By Jeckonia Otieno
A few days ago, the world reflected on the ever-increasing population and how it is putting pressure on resources as well as impacting negatively on quality of life.
Population experts at the World Population Day marked in Nairobi last Wednesday say unless the growth is checked, the country will not realise its targets for Vision 2030.
To control the expansion, women and men must have access to family planning. Indeed this year’s World Population Day theme captures that very well: ‘Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services’.
The theme is about getting contraceptives when you need them and sufficient information about their use as well as side effects.
Unfortunately, many people, both married and single, still cannot access proper family healthcare options, more so family planning.
It is because of this unmet need that some resort to unconventional methods such as abortion, taking of herbs and some cultural practices to plan their families.
Procure an abortion
The effect of these methods can be tragic. For example, Moris Onyango lost his wife, Hellen Akoth, last month after she allegedly tried to procure an abortion at a backstreet clinic at Kware in Ongata Rongai.
The abortion, as is often the case, did not go as planned and she developed complications. She sought help at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) but it was too late as she had lost a lot of blood.
Akoth, a mother of two, was in her fifth month of pregnancy when this happened. The couple had been married for 12 years. What could have prompted Akoth, an early childhood teacher, to run to a backstreet clinic to terminate her pregnancy? That is the question that has baffled many who knew her, including her husband.
Onyango who has just come back from burying his wife says he never suspected that Akoth was unhappy with the pregnancy. Perhaps she thought an abortion was a simple matter — getting rid of the pregnancy and going home as normal. But that was not the case.