Why Kisumu MCAs rejected cheaper birth control

Thursday October 5 2017

Kisumu County Assembly

Members of Kisumu County Assembly hold their first sitting after they were sworn in on September 6, 2017. The MCAs have rejected a proposal to lower the cost of birth control services arguing it would lead to slow population growth which would be politically disadvantageous. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RUSHDIE OUDIA
More by this Author

Kisumu MCAs have rejected proposals to lower the cost of birth control, arguing that this will prevent the region from acquiring the desired numbers for political advantage.

The members argued that reducing the fees charged for vasectomy would encourage men to go for the procedure, thereby, denying them a chance to sire more children.

This, they said, would slow down population growth in their county, a disadvantage to them politically.

Vasectomy is considered a permanent method of birth control in men.

PROPOSALS

The MCAs also rejected proposals to reduce the cost of tubal ligation which is a surgical procedure for women.

The topic came up during a discussion on the 2017 Kisumu County Finance Bill which was passed last Thursday.

The public, during the participation forums on the bill, had proposed reduction of charges.

According to the proposed law, those intending to go for tubal ligation and vasectomy at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital will have to part with Sh1,500.

PREVENT ACCESS

Discussing the bill tabled by the Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Stephen Owiti, the MCAs wanted the rates to either be maintained or increased to prevent men from accessing the service.

Muhoroni/Koru ward representative Julius Genga proposed the procedure be made more expensive to increase the population in the long term.

“We need tyranny of numbers, not suppressing the numbers we have at the moment,” said Mr Genga.

Kisumu’s population is estimated at 1,145,749 people with 385,820 registered voters, according to the latest statistics by the electoral commission.

TAX COLLECTION

Nominated MCA Caleb Omoro said lowering the charge will have an impact on tax collection.

“We are expected to raise up to Sh1.4 billion in local revenue. This cannot be achieved when we reduce the fees,” said Mr Omoro.

The assembly later unanimously approved the rates for vasectomy and tubal ligation as they were despite attempts by a few to reduce them.
North West Kisumu MCA Vincent Jagongo had, however, said there was a need to make the services affordable since some people may have valid reasons for going for the service.

“Let us support men who want to go for vasectomy because some go due to health related conditions,” he said.