Kenya’s Newest Lockdown: What It Means for Your Sexual and Reproductive Health
On March 26th, President Uhuru Kenyatta reinstated a lockdown in Kenya to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has been on the rise since January. In fact, the rate of positive COVID-19 test results jumped from 2.6% to 19%, marking the country’s third wave and its highest rate of infection since the pandemic began.
Nairobi and its four surrounding counties are the most affected by the most recent wave of infection, and therefore face the most restrictions during the new lockdown. In addition to a 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM curfew, all gatherings are prohibited—including sporting events—as well as travel in and out of the area. Bars, restaurants, schools, universities, and places of worship have also closed. The measures are extreme; but, as Kenyatta said during a televised press conference on March 26th, they are “temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore stop further loss of life.”
While ultimately a good thing, lockdowns can have adverse effects on your health. They may prevent you from traveling to and seeing your loved ones, which can impact you mentally and emotionally. And of course, extended periods of isolation can be draining and stressful—even if you’re locked up with family or friends! You may argue more, or get annoyed more easily. Moreover, the lockdown may prevent you and your family from getting proper exercise. Maybe your gym is closed, or your kids can’t play with their friends at school anymore. Maybe you can’t play football at your usual spot or with the same group of people. Lockdowns, by nature, interfere with your way of life.
But what about your sexual and reproductive health? What if you need an abortion, or an emergency contraceptive, or are experiencing problems with your current method? Fulfilling these needs, unfortunately, is made more complicated during lockdown. Last year, organizations throughout Africa experienced shortages in emergency contraceptives, condoms, and oral contraceptive pills just as multiple countries went into lockdown—and millions of couples found themselves alone at home, with nowhere else to go.
The good news is, Nivi is here to help. Nivi can deliver information about contraception, abortion, and sexually transmitted infections right to your phone, and recommend clinics and services near you, should you need them. Services like MyDawa, a Kenya-based online pharmacy, which delivers condoms and other sexual wellness products directly to you. The best part is, whether you’re chatting with Nivi via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, it’s always private. We know that sometimes you may have questions that you wouldn’t ask your friends or family. So anything you say to Nivi, stays between you and Nivi.
With Nivi, you get the kind of counseling and support you need during a time when it’s difficult to get to a clinic. Whether you’re having sex or not having sex, whether you want children or don’t want any right now, whether you need help or you’re just curious, Nivi can help you assess your health needs and options, and choose something that works for you. So start chatting with Nivi today—because you may be in lockdown, but your uterus doesn’t have to be.