In Northern Arid Lands of Kenya, the modern contraceptive prevalence rate remains below 30 percent compared to the national rate of 58 percent (KNBS, 2014), resulting in a high maternal mortality ratio 362/100,000 live births compared to the sustainable development goal target of 70/100,000 live births. High inequalities exist across and within counties; of the 47 counties in Kenya, 15 contribute to 98 percent of national maternal mortality. Garissa and Tana River Counties show promise that high-impact interventions around the intersectionality of religion and culture are a platform for improving FP. Amref works with communities to implement FP projects. We propose to scale up its utilization to areas previously not covered due to budget constraints.
We will conduct a quasi-experimental study to answer the questions: Does the engagement of religious leaders improve the utilization of FP services? Does working with community champions mainstream inclusivity in FP services? To what extent does formal intersectionality between the public sector, faith-based organizations and community structures foster sustainability in FP increases?
We will support religious leaders dialogue, provide scriptural clarification on FP, engage Muslim leaders and CSOs to shape opinions on FP, improve coordination of FP services, facilitate spaces for women to address misconceptions and work with relevant institutions to link persons with disabilities to services.
We will help women achieve their rights to health and autonomy in family size decision-making. We will engage men, religious and cultural structures to increase FP acceptance and enhance capacities of CSOs and county health functionaries to operationalize the FP strategy.
Overall, funding for FP will save lives by reducing unplanned pregnancies and abortions. In addition, reduced fertility will result in increased household and national savings, resulting in significant economic development when paired with strategic national investments.