Six shocking facts about teenage pregnancies in Kenya

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), nearly 378,400 adolescent girls in Kenya aged between 10 and 19 years became pregnant between July 2016 and June 2017.

A total of 28,932 girls aged between 10 and 14 years were impregnated, while 349,465 girls were between 15 to 19 years.

Kenya’s population is largely young. Persons aged 19 years and below account for more than half of population while those aged 15 years and below form 45% of the country’s population (census, 2009).

Early sexual debut, unplanned pregnancy, and a higher number of births remain issues for adolescent girls and young women.

Recent media reports of the high number of girls failing to sit their final secondary school examinations (KSCE) only reveal the extent to which we have continued to overlook candid discussions about adolescent sexuality. 

Here are six facts about teenage pregnancies in Kenya:

  • Adolescents aged 10-19 years constitute 24 per cent of Kenya’s population (KDHS 2014).
  • One in every five girls between 15-19 years has begun childbearing or already has a child (KDHS 2014).
  • 13,000 teenage girls drop out of school every year due to pregnancy (KDHS 2014).
  • Narok County has the most cases of teenage pregnancy accounting for 40.4 per cent (KDHS 2014).
  • Only 50 per cent of adolescents’ transition to secondary school with high dropout rates, particularly for girls (KDHS 2014). 
  • Globally 60 per cent of new HIV infections occur among young people (WHO).