Kenyans should prepare for a baby boom in the country by the end of the year 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
The pandemic has had adverse effects on essential health services which have led to a rise in the number of women and girls getting pregnant in since its onslaught.
In the second quarter of 2020, measures to curb the coronavirus were effected. These measures include; movement restrictions, closure of schools, work from home, closure of churches and entertainment joints and imposition of curfews.
The trickle-down effects of Kenyan’s lifestyle change due to the imposed measures has led to a drastic rise in pregnancy, more especially teenage pregnancy. Idleness in school-going children, as well as the predatory behaviour of men on the stay at home girls, has resulted in the spike in pregnancy numbers.
174,203 teenage pregnancies were recorded in a report which covers a period from January 2020 up to June 2020. Since March, 112,456 teenagers have been impregnated with June recording the highest number. 30,418 teenage pregnancies are on record in antenatal clinics for the month of June alone. Forty-two counties reported an increase in Antenatal clinic attendance with Uasin Gishu, Bomet and Machakos and Uasin leading. Kirinyaga, Siaya and Samburu have also reported significantly high numbers.
Lack of Contraceptives
Another reason given for the incoming boom is the stretched healthcare and the lack of contraceptives. A Nairobi based health expert, Mr Victor Rusungu, stated that:
“We will definitely have a baby boom. We will have very many pregnancies, and the first babies will be delivered in December,”
There has also been a decrease in the purchase of contraceptives from chemists and hospitals. This can be attributed to the low purchasing power of the mwanachi due to the pandemic. Job loses, and closure of businesses have made non-essentials like contraceptives a mere luxury in most homes.
Most healthcare providers are also concentrating on the treatment of Covid-19 patients, compromising the provision of reproductive health care.