Use of Contraceptives “partly” Behind Africa’s Declining Birth Rate: Kenyan NFP Trainer

Mr. Victor Sande, Kenyan Catholic NFP trainer with Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kisumu Archdiocese. Credit: Victor Sande

The use of contraceptives is “partly” behind the reported birth rate reduction in Africa, a Natural Family Planning (NFP) trainer in Kenya has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa, Victor Sande weighed in on the Macrotrends’ report indicating dwindling birth rate on the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent.

The chart and table in the Macrotrends’ report has the Africa birth rate from 1950 to 2024. The report shows a successive annual decrease in the birth rate: a decline of 1.23% from 2020, and 1.25% from 2021; a further decrease of 1.27% from 2022, and a subsequent 1.09% decline from 2023.

“The issue of birth decline in Africa can partly be attributed to contraceptives,” Mr. Sande, a NFP trainer certified by the World Organization Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB) Interntional Australia and the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), said during the  Wednesday, January 31 interview.

He observed that “the supporters of contraceptives (want) to ‘empower’ Africans by telling them that once you have a larger family, you cannot be able to develop; you need to have a smaller family that you can contain.” 


Africans have been told that “the best way to contain the small family is by using contraceptives,” he noted, adding that promoters of contraceptives have “made this possible by making the contraceptives free.”

The Kenyan medical laboratory technician, who doubles as the family coordinator of St. John Kajiado Parish of Kenya’s Ngong Diocese highlighted the side effects of contraceptives.

He said, “These contraceptives affect women in the sense that some take even over five years just to get a second child.”

Other side effects include unusual bleeding and the destruction of marital bonds between couples as marital acts are hindered, he further said, adding, “The constant use of these contraceptives can cause complications. Once a person starts using contraceptives at an early stage, that is a problem in the future because they may affect the reproductive system of that child.”

Mr. Sande said he found it regrettable that despite the Church’s stance against contraceptives, people have normalized their use.

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“In the contemporary world, when a couple gives birth to more than three children, people start questioning the family and see them as old fashioned,” he observed, adding, “This is also happening in some hospitals; when a mother gives birth through caesarean, they are being forced into contraceptives, which is some kind of forced sterilization”

Infectious diseases and poverty are the other factors behind birth rate decline in Africa, Mr. Sande said, and emphasized, “I can freely say that contraceptives have contributed to the continued decrease in birth rates in Africa aside from other factors.”

For Africa to address the challenge of contraceptives, there is need for independence and self-reliance, he said during the January 31 interview, and continued, “African countries cannot collectively fight contraceptives because they depend on foreign aid from the same supporters of contraceptives.”

Contraceptives is “a booming business” in Africa, the NFP trainer said, and added, “If any African government decides to go against the powerful forces behind contraceptives, they will fight back and because African countries depend on them, they cannot survive.”

According to him, Africans “need to have a strong voice that NFP works, and this is when we need even the Church to come out strongly.”


“We need to start with the church and talk about NPF and the side effects of contraceptives. Once we do this, people will be enlightened,” Mr. Sande told ACI Africa.

In his considered opinion, “the Church in Africa should incorporate NFP teachings while preparing couples for wedding; this should include enlightening them that the use of contraceptives is a mortal sin.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.