High number of teen mums in Meru County worries residents
By - Jan 1st 1970
The number of adolescents presenting with pregnancy at first Antenatal Care (ANC) visit has declined from 317 thousand in 2021 to 260 thousand in 2022, representing an 18 per cent decrease. The latest survey report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates the number of adolescents pregnant at the age of 10-19 years has decreased since 2018.
The number of adolescents between the ages of 10-14 that presented with pregnancy at first ANC visits reduced from 23,290 in 2021 to 15,043 in 2022.
Moreover, those of 15-19 years presenting with pregnancy at 1st ANC reduced by 16.6 per cent to 245,399 in 2022.
The survey noted that Bungoma, Kakamega, Narok, Nairobi, and Meru counties contributed the highest number of adolescents presenting with pregnancy at 1st ANC visit in 2022.
The report attributes the increase in fertility level in a population to early childbearing by teenagers.
Another report indicates that the proportion of registered births reported to have occurred in health facilities went up from 1.2 million (97.8 per cent) in 2021 to 1.22 million (99.0 per cent) in 2022. Consequently, the share of registered births occurring in the community declined to 1.0 per cent in 2022 from 2.2 per cent in 2021.
There was a high proportion of births registered by women aged 20-24 at 29.8 per cent followed by women aged 25-29 years at 25.9 per cent in 2022.
Drop in registration
However, there was a drop in the share of registered births for adolescents (15-19 years) from 12.3 per cent in 2021 to 11.3 per cent in 2022.
Additionally, the proportion of registered births by single mothers increased slightly to 13.9 per cent in 2022 from 13.5 per cent in 2021.
The same report further indicates that the proportion of registered births by married women decreased to 85.6 per cent in 2022 from 85.9 per cent in 2021.
This amounted to an increase in the total number of registered births to 1.23 million (1.8 per cent) in 2022.