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Panyako: Parents, give us a break! No minor needs your permission to get birth control implants

By Abel Amala On Wed, 19 Aug, 2020 13:12 | 2 mins read
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako. [PHOTO | FILE]
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako. [PHOTO | FILE]

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako has moved in to defend nurses of Emusanda Health Centre, who, last month, put birth control implants into the arms of four girls aged between 14 and 16.

The teenagers’ parents said their children were put under a 3-year family planning pogramme against the girls’ wishes.

The guardians vowed to sue the nurse(s) and community healthcare worker, who recommended and inserted family planning implants in their children.

Defending the healthcare workers, KNUN Secretary-General, Seth Panyako, said the parents’ lawsuit is dead on arrival because “no adolescent girl, according to the Kenyan Law, requires her parents’ permission to get contraceptives”.

“Family planning protocol in Kenya is a documented government programme. If something has gone wrong, then it is the government that has gone wrong, [not the nurses who inserted the birth control implants in the girls],” Panyako said on Wednesday, August 19 while addressing journalists in Kakamega Town.

“I want to tell parents that before you go out there and make a lot of noise, our children are becoming sexually active at a very tender age. You must respect healthcare workers. Your daughter, herself, went and sought a community health worker, and told her what she was going through, and she was advised to be put on family planning programme.

“No child requires permission from her parent, teacher or adult to get birth control implants. The four children approached the community health worker and told her that they wanted the implants,” said Panyako.

“What do we — as nurses — get in return when we put your children under birth control? There is no monetary or any other benefit we get,” he added.

The KNUN boss’s remarks were echoed by Kakamega branch nurses’ union boss, Renson Bulunya.

Last Friday, police in Kakamega began investigations into how four female minors aged between 14 and 16 years old were put on family planning by a “stranger”.

The girls, who hail from Mwiyala Village in Lurambi Constituency, were last month approached by a community health officer, identified only as Gertrude, who convinced them to accompany her to Emusanda Health Centre, where she would “give them sanitary towels for free”.

Upon getting to the health facility, Gertrude is alleged to have had birth control implants put into the teenagers’ arms.

One of the girls, who developed menstrual complications a month after the 3-year hormonal contraceptive was fitted, disclosed to her parent what Gertrude had done to her and her friends.

The livid mother, thereafter, informed the other girls’ parents, who filed a report at a Lurambi police station.

Kakamega Central OCPD, David Kabena, told K24 Digital that they had launched a hunt for the so-called Gertrude, and that once doctors confirm that the adolescent girls had been fitted with contraceptive implants, they would arraign the suspect upon arresting her.

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