CSOs boycott health policy launch over ‘sidelining’
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with bias for women’s health boycotted yesterday’s launch of National Reproductive Health Policy 2022-2032, citing lack of transparency by the Ministry of Health.
Kenya Obstetrical Gynecological Society (KOGS) Secretary General Prof Moses Obimbo said the ministry deliberately failed to engage professional bodies over the policy, thereby bypassing important views on reproductive health.
“We have withdrawn from this event because the Ministry has consistently failed to be transparent throughout this policy process… our views on reproductive health were not considered. The policy as it stands fails to adequately address critical issues such as teenage pregnancy, assisted reproduction and the high maternal mortality rates from unsafe abortions,” Obimbo said.
He said, the above comes after months of repeated requests for meaningful engagement in the policy development and review process, including an attempt to launch the policy on March 23 but was suspended after a section of civil society and women’s rights defenders caused an uproar over the lack of public participation in the development process.
Co-founder of the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya Rachael Mwikali recommended the Division of Reproductive Health be held accountable for the series of irregular decisions.