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Samburu, West Pokot, Narok lead in teenage pregnancies

By Mercy Simiyu January 17th, 2023 2 min read

Teenagers in Samburu, West Pokot, Marsabit, Narok, Homabay, and Migori counties are at the most risk of getting pregnant in Kenya.

This is according to a survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. (KNBS)

The survey indicates 15% percent of women aged 15–19 in these counties have conceived at some point in their lifetime, while 12% had a live birth, 1% suffered pregnancy loss and 3% are currently expectant.

“The percentage of women aged 15–19 who have ever been pregnant increases with age, from 3%, among those age 15 to 31 % among those age 19. About 4 in 10 women aged 15–19 who have no education have ever been pregnant, as compared with only 5 percent of women who have more than secondary education,” said KNBS.

The study further shows teenage women in the lowest wealth quintile are more likely to have ever been pregnant than women in the highest wealth quintile.

The percentage of women who have ever been pregnant decreases from 21percent among those in the lowest wealth quintile to 8 percent among those in the highest wealth quintile.

“The percentage of women age 15–19 who have ever been pregnant are highest in Samburu 50 percent, West Pokot 36 percent, Marsabit 29 percent, Narok 28 percent, Meru 24 percent, Homa Bay 23 percent, Migori 23 percent,
Kajiado 22 percent, Siaya 21 percent, and Baringo 20 percent and lowest in Nyeri and Nyandarua 5 percent each,” read KNBS.

However about half (47 percent of currently married women age 15–49 want to have another child soon or later, 17 percent want to have another child soon, and 30 percent want to wait at least 2 years

The study shows more than 4 in 10 currently married women want to limit childbearing; 43% want no more children and 3% are sterilized.

The desire to have another child decreases sharply with the number of children a woman has; 88% of currently married women with no children want to have a child, 66% soon and 22% within the next 2 years.

“The percentage decreases to 33% among women with three children and to 16% among those with six or more children,”

The trend in family planning varied across both genders with 66% of currently married women using a contraceptive method and 57 % using a modern method

Among sexually active unmarried women age 15–49, 70% use a contraceptive method, and 59% of these women use a modern method.

The use of traditional methods is more common among sexually active unmarried women than among currently married women 11 percent and 6 percent respectively.

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