Factors contributing to teenage fertility in coastal kenya A case of mombasa county
The coastal region is among the top three areas with the highest early childbearing prevalence in Kenya (KNBS, 2014). Studies on adolescent fertility within this region have mainly been based on secondary data derived from demographic health surveys. Critical factors to bring out individual social and cultural factors affecting adolescents‘ reproductive clinical outcomes are not known. This research endeavoured to give an understanding of the factors that contribute to teenage fertility within the coastal region. The move was by trying to: identify individual risk factors contributing to adolescent fertility among young people, establish how adolescents perceive sexuality about consequences of sexuality and examine types of parental attachment that promote protection against teenage pregnancy. Additionally, it also entailed identifying forms of barriers that hinder teens from accessing contraceptives. The study was conducted within Bangladesh slums of Mombasa County. A cross-sectional household survey based on both quantitative and qualitative approaches was adopted. A proportionate sampling methodology was used in reaching the study population. The unit of analysis was adolescent girls aged between 15-19 years. One hundred and sixty-five (165) adolescents participated in the study. The mean interval at intimate introduction was 15 years, and 43% of respondents had started childbearing. Most teenagers indicated that they would want to have a baby to make them become women and feel important. The study identified early sexual debut, peer pressure, education and drug abuse as individual characteristics that contribute to teenage pregnancy. The hope of getting money and strengthening a relationship with the child‘s father was a major factor among girls living xiii with a caregiver as a determinant to pregnancy. Although most respondents indicated stronger attachment towards their mothers, those living with both parents showed lower risks and tendency to teenage pregnancy compared to those living with single mothers only. The primary barrier to contraceptive was service providers‘ attitude and stigma towards teenagers. Intervention programs should focus on creating awareness among adolescents that dissuade early pregnancy and the importance of women as valued member of society regardless of ever having a child or not. Single mothers need to be trained on parenthood. Economic empowerment programs targeting single mothers and caregivers need to be initiated and scaled up. There is a necessity for further research into the extent to which sexual and gender-based violence play a role in contributing to teenage fertility.