Joyce Mumah, Caroline W. Kabiru, Chimaraoke Izugbara and Carol Mukiira.
In Kenya, an estimated 43% of births among women aged 15-49 years are unintended . The high level of unintended pregnancy in Kenya is associated with low contraceptive use among women and girls. Among currently married and sexually active unmarried women aged 15-49 years, contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for modern methods is estimated
at 28%. Among sexually active 15-19 year olds, the CPR is 16% .
Early sexual initiation exposes young people to greater risk of unintended pregnancies. The 2008/09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) showed that the prevalence of unintended pregnancy among girls aged 15-19 years is 47% . Unintended pregnancies have major long-term health and socio-economic implications for women and girls and
constitutes a major barrier to achieving progress in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in the country. Annually, unintended pregnancies cause several thousands of girls – about 13,000- to drop out of school in Kenya .
Low educational attainment and early marriage owing to unintended pregnancy limit women’s economic potential. A major consequence of unintended pregnancy in Kenya is unsafe abortion, which is a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in the country . A recent study found that nearly half a million induced abortions occurred in Kenya in 2012 . The study established an abortion rate of 48 per 1000 women aged 15-49 years. While comparable to Uganda, the abortion rate in Kenya was higher than the average for East Africa, which stands at 39 per 1000 women of reproductive age.
The study also showed that about 120,000 women sought care for abortion-related complications in health facilities in 2012, with women below the age of 19 years accounting for 17% of all women seeking post-abortion care services and about
45% of severe abortion-related admissions in Kenyan hospitals . An estimated 57% of abortions in Nairobi, capital city of Kenya, are among poor women .
Carol works in two projects under the Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health research program. These are the Packard Western Kenya (PWK) project aimed at reversing the stall in fertility decline in Western Kenya and the...
Chimaraoke joined APHRC in 2006 as a Sabbatical Fellow and was appointed to the position of Associate Research Scientist in August 2007. Prior to this, he worked with universities in Nigeria as a lecturer and researcher,...
Joyce currently works on the STEP UP (Strengthening Evidence for the Programming on Unintended Pregnancy) project under the Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health research program. The project aims to generate a coherent body of robust...