Factors influencing early marriage on the girl child’s maternal health projects: a case of Maralal town, Samburu county, Kenya
The purpose of this study is to examine and assess factors that influence early marriage on the girl child’s maternal health in Samburu County. Child marriage is a global problem affecting millions of girls across the world. It is considered a human rights violation because it deprives those involved of education and health services, the chance to learn skills and develop their personalities and leaves them vulnerable. Child marriage can have devastating consequences for a girl’s health. It encourages the initiation of sexual activity at an age when girls’ bodies are still developing and when they know little about their sexual and reproductive health. It destroys the health if the girl child at a very young age. In the course of this study, primary and secondary literature of related nature was reviewed including academic researches, journal papers, reports and books including online materials related to the area of study. Descriptive research design was adopted with purposive sampling method applied when analyzing the target population. Structured design questionnaires were developed and used for data collection. Questionnaires and reviewed by experts and pretested before implementation to ensure validity. The data gathered will be analyzed using the SPSS. After data analysis the descriptive statistics results were presented using percentage tables. A total of 86 questionnaires were used and had a high return rate from the target population. The quantitative information was collected through women in communities and key informants. Study findings clearly suggest that married girls are a distinct group that has experienced a wide range of risky behaviours; moreover, they face a number of obstacles that limit their ability to exercise safe choices in the area of sexual and reproductive health. Findings reiterate the need for programmatic attention to address the special needs and vulnerability of married young women There is a need to provide detailed information on sexual and reproductive health matters to young married girls, Findings underscore that access to maternal health services was far from universal, even at the time of the first—and often the most risky—pregnancy. Few women, particularly in Maralal, had accessed care during the antenatal, delivery and majority has no access or have choice in accessing antenatal services. These findings highlight that reproductive health programmes need to lay emphasis on increasing the demand for such services as well as improving the availability of such services In conclusion, findings of this study show that young married girls are a particularly vulnerable group that is in need of multi-pronged programmatic attention that addresses not only their own risk but also the likely factors contributing to these risks.