Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata has explained the reason behind the decision by his regime to give pregnant women Sh 6, 000.
His remarks came after reports emerged that the governor had said he will pay pregnant women a stipend of Sh6,000.
His move was widely interpreted as a way to boost the county’s population.
Speaking during thanksgiving in Murang’a this Sunday, Kang’ata clarified that the Sh 6, 000 was not a stipend but a ‘transport reimbursement’.
“We decided to introduce the programme when we discovered that out of 10 pregnant women in Murang’a, only seven go to public hospitals for delivery while three deliver at home,” he said.
“We also realised that only four out of 10 go for antenatal care. Therefore, we decided to give them transport reimbursement to encourage them to come to our facilities,” Kang’ata added.
He has also said that the program will start either in January next year or December this year.
Between 2002-2013, there was a similar programme when the then Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau rewarded each pregnancy with Sh2,000.
The former MP said this was meant to encourage young people to start families and boost the community’s numbers.
On the contrary, Dr Kang’ata said his programme is aimed at “taking good care of our women and encouraging them that their county government thinks well of them”.
“We will be supporting pregnant mothers with a stipend of Sh2,000 for the last two months of the pregnancy and the same amount after delivery, to [total] Sh6,000 per pregnancy,” the county boss said.
He also said the programme will be piloted in the health sector strategic plan covering the period up to 2027.
The proposal comes as the county reviews its 2020-2025 strategic plan that prioritised boosting the uptake of family planning, which was in place in Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s administration.