President Kenyatta has ordered a crackdown on private clinics and chemists offering emergency contraceptives to underage girls.
Kenyatta tasked county commissioners to coordinate the clampdown within their jurisdictions with immediate effect, according to Education CAS Zack Kinuthia.
Kinuthia said the President considers unscrupulous medical practitioners offering contraceptives to school girls a threat to the government’s fight against teenage pregnancies, abortions, and runaway sexual promiscuity.
“It is not in any Kenyan law that minors access family planning health services since planning is about those in legally recognized marital unions,” Kinuthia said on Tuesday.
“The President has told us that adult males who engage in criminal sex with minors get hiding places in emergency contraceptives, and procure family planning injections and pills for minors, making sexual briefs with them a ‘safe’ lifestyle,” he added.
Injectables, oral, intrauterine, and female voluntary surgical methods, the Norplant, vaginal barriers, and spermicides are the most common types of contraceptives given to minors, Kinuthia added.
“We will rely on our intelligence officers to keep tabs with happenings in the health sector. We will be hard on any county commissioner and his team should we get verifiable reports that minor girls are being given access to family planning services. That will not be acceptable at all costs," said Kinuthia.
Early this month, Uhuru directed the National Crime Research Centre to launch a probe into the high cases of teen pregnancies and “prepare an advisory to our security agencies on remedial action within 30 days from the date hereof and initiate immediate prosecution of all violators.”
A report released last month by the Kenya Health Information System revealed shocking statistics on teen pregnancies in the country. For instance, about 4,000 girls aged below 19 years were reported pregnant in Machakos County alone between March and May this year.