More 15-year-olds in Kenya, today, have babies

A teenage girl with her child. KDHS says the percentage of adolescents who have begun childbearing dropped to 14.9 per cent in 2022 from 18.1 per cent in 2014.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Fewer 15-19 year-old girls were impregnated in the past eight years.
  • Five counties remained among the top regions with highest number of 15–19 year-old teenagers who have ever been pregnant.
  • Samburu has the highest number of 15–19-year-old teenagers who have ever been pregnant, in the 2022 KDHS.

Fewer 15-19 year-old girls were impregnated in the past eight years, but the live births among the youngest ones increased, which means the country has many more children mothers raising babies.

Overall, the percentage of adolescents who have begun childbearing dropped to 14.9 per cent in 2022 from 18.1 per cent in 2014. 

This is according to the 2022 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) released on Tuesday, by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

However, while the number of the 16,18 and 19 year-olds who had live births dropped, for those aged 15 years, the rates went up from 1.7 per cent in 2014 to 2.1 per cent in 2022.

While the drop among the 17 year-olds was insignificant at only 0.3 per cent.

A huge leap was, however, recorded among the 19-year-olds whose prevalence declined by 7.9 per cent followed by the 18-year-olds with 5.1 per cent drop and 1.7 per cent for the 16 year-olds.

This implies that the younger girls are more likely to be mothers than the older ones. And have more children by the time they turn18 years.

In terms of counties, five counties remained in the list of the top regions with highest number of 15–19-year-old teenagers who have ever been pregnant.

Notably, Samburu jumped from position six in the 2014 KDHS when the levels were at 25.7 per cent to lead in the current survey with an almost double increase hitting 50.1 per cent.

West Pokot, which was in the third position in the previous survey, is now second but with a drop in the prevalence rates from 36.3 per cent to 28.6 per cent.

Narok County topped the previous list with 40.4 per cent but dropped to fourth position with 28.1 per cent.

Homa Bay, which came second in 2014 KDHS with 33.3 per cent is now in the sixth position with 23.2 per cent.

Migori, on the other hand, maintained its seventh position albeit an insignificant decline of 1.3 per cent. It had a 24.3 per cent prevalence rate in 2014 compared to 23 per cent in 2023.

And five counties joined the infamous top list namely Marsabit at third position with a jump from the previous 16.6 per cent prevalence rate to the current 29.4 per cent.

Meru is fifth with 23.6 per cent, an increase from the earlier 19.9 per cent.

Kajiado is eighth, having recorded a rise in numbers from 20.2 per cent in 2014 to 21.8 per cent in 2022. 

Siaya is ninth with 20.9 per cent of its 15-19-year-olds having been pregnant, an increase from 17.2 per cent.

Baringo County is in 10th position but with a huge number of more girls having been impregnated. The rates rose from 13.2 per cent in 2014 to 20.3 per cent in 2022, an increase by 7.1 per cent 




Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.