By Isaac Kiti
Leaders of a Catholic church and parents of a Catholic School in Kitui County are demanding for the arrest of a pro-abortion activists who visited the secondary school yesterday and administered birth control contraceptives to the students without their consent. Now the angry parents want the birth control measures planted in their children reversed immediately.
The people responsible for the act are from Marie Stopes Kenya, an organization known for championing the rights of women to have children by choice. The activists toured Archbishop Boniface Lele Secondary located in Mang’elu, Kitui West yesterday an international day of celebrating the Day of the Girl Child.
The teenage school girls were administered on family planning medication including the Norplant- a hormone- infused rod-like used to prevent pregnancy and it is inserted beneath the skin in the upper arm. It can be effective for up to 5years after implanted.
However, the Norplant has side effects among them are prolonged and irregular menstrual flow, breast pain, vomiting, rapid weight gain, scalp hair loss, and many others.
The dismayed Parents told reporters the girls aged between 14 and 17 were tricked into taking the the family planning medications. A parent by the name Mrs. Munanie Muusya said her daughter was planted the Norplant and she had withdrawn her from the school for treatment and that Marie Stopes Kenya will be held responsible for any health risks while the school principal be liable for negligence and surrendering of girls’ safety to unscrupulous people.
Mrs Muusya vented her sentiments that she was schocked why did the school allow such a thing to happen as that encourages the adolescents’ girls to carelessly indulge in unprotected sex and they a can easily contract sexually transmitted diseases.
Information from Marie Stopes team head, Ms Harriet Owire says they only counselled individual students after the main lecture on reproductive health but refused to discuss the claims of administering family planning pills.
The incident has been condemned by Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua citing, “This is a grievous matter. Exposing children to contraceptives treatment of any nature without the prior consent of their parents is unacceptable.” Mr Wambua urged the Ministry of Education to investigate into the matter swiftly and assured parents of their childrens’ safety in schools. “I thought the government had banned school visits in third terms. I cannot visit children in schools in third term for motivation as they are busy preparing for their end year exams but shockingly strangers with contraceptives are allowed,” he said.
Fr. Julius Muthamba secretary of Kitui Diocese termed the incident scandalous and criminal said that those found responsible with be held responsible. He said he had asked the principle Andrew Kwale to give him full details and why the organization was allowed to carry out morally negative lessons and medical procedures on students. He pointed out that Catholic church is widely known for its strong stand against contraceptives of any kind and it’s a pity this happed in a very school the sponsor.
The school principal on his side said he had to allow the organization in the school after informing him they had cleared with office of the County Director of Education to conduct health awareness to girls in school but unfortunately they had a hidden agenda. Marie Stopes officials were granted the liberty to interact freely alone with the students but he did not expect them to exceed their guiding and counselling lectures.