SPEECH BY HON. WYCLIFFE AMBETSA OPARANYA, MINISTER OF STATE FOR PLANNING, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND VISION 2030 DURING THE LAUNCH OF THE KENYA DEMOGRAPHIC AND HEALTH SURVEY PRELIMINARY REPORT ON 4TH NOVEMBER, 2009
KNBS Board Members;
Heads of Government Departments;
Representatives from the Civil Society;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is with great pleasure for me this morning to preside over the launch of the 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) preliminary report. The 2008-09 KDHS is a follow up to similar studies carried out in 1989, 1993, 1998 and 2003. The Government has therefore been carrying out Demographic and Health Surveys after every five years. The survey results focus mainly on the health sector, the main objective being to provide information to monitor and evaluate the population and health situation in the country. We are all aware that statistics are a key tool for evidence-based policy making, planning, and for tracking progress towards nationally and internationally agreed upon development agendas. We are therefore releasing preliminary results when only six years are left to achieve the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
The Millennium Development Goals outlines the importance of improving health, and particularly the health of mothers and children, as an integral part of poverty reduction. However, in many parts of the country, universal access to health care remains far from being realized though there is no doubt that technical knowledge exists to respond to the critical health and other issues that affect the health and survival of our people. The Government finalized the Kenya Vision 2030 which was prepared through broad stakeholders consultations and provides the basis for long term development strategy. The Vision aims to transform the country into a prosperous middle income country by 2030.
The vision is to be realized through the implementation of successive five year Medium Term Strategy Plans and also continue to implement on-going policies and programmes aimed at attaining development objectives which include the MDGs. The social pillar aims to provide quality education and an efficient and high quality health care system with the best standards including a scheme to promote access and equity in health care financing.
A number of health programmes are already success stories, including the Malaria control programme. According to the results of the report we are releasing today, most of the health indicators measured have improved tremendously leading to improvement in survival status of children. The results show improvement in levels of vaccination of children, ownership and use of mosquito bednets, and maternal health care mainly attributed to the health programmes initiated by the Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The survey results indicate that the country recorded the lowest fertility levels ever at 4.6 children per woman. Infant mortality levels improved by 33 percent from 77 deaths per 1,000 live births recorded during the last survey in 2003 to 52 deaths per 1,000 live births. Under five mortality rate declined by 36 percent from 115 deaths per 1,000 live births to 74 deaths per 1,000 live births. Immunization coverage improved by 36 percent from 57 percent to 77 percent while children who slept under an ITN net improved from 5 percent to 46 percent. The KDHS results therefore provides a good evaluation of the utilization of health services in the country. The findings should therefore be valuable to policy makers and programme implementers in strengthening implementat