An online petition and persistent advocacy convinced the Nairobi County Governor Sakaja Johnson to drastically reduce the prices of family planning services.
About a month ago, the proposed Nairobi City County Finance Bill 2023 was all set to increase fees for essential services including family planning. This created massive concern among health activists that during this time of economic hardship, women’s access to reproductive health care would become even tougher.
This also raised concerns about the affordability of health services for adolescents and young women especially when teen pregnancies and deaths from unsafe abortion complications are on the rise in Nairobi.
Human rights advocate and Nguvu Collective change leader Deborah Monari initiated a Rapid Response Campaign called #FreeFamilyPlanningForAll appealing to the Nairobi County Governor not to enact measures which would exclude women from Family Planning Services.
Before the online petition, the County Government of Nairobi had initially proposed new reproductive health charges, prompting women’s rights advocates to successfully petition the move.
However, Debora Monari, a nurse and human rights advocate with Nguvu Collective, petitioned and successfully stopped the bill that would have made contraception and other family planning services unaffordable to women of reproductive age.
Monari organised the online petition on Change.org, which later drew support from Nairobi residents, SRHR organizations, and Kenyans across the country who stood in solidarity with her cause. The campaign emphasized the potential harm that the proposed bill could cause, highlighting how it would restrict access to essential healthcare services, such as contraception and family planning, in Level 4 hospitals within the county.