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Maternal Health Services Utilisation by Kenyan Adolescent Mothers: Analysis of the Demographic Health Survey 2014
Authors: Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas, Oluwasola Banke-Thomas, Mwikali Kivuvani, and Charles Anawo Ameh
Source: Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 12: 37-46; DOI: 10.1016/j.srhc.2017.02.004
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Delivery care
Health care utilization
Maternal health
Postnatal care
Youth
Country: Africa
  Kenya
Published: JUN 2017
Abstract: Background: Kenya has one of the highest adolescent fertility rates in East-Africa, estimated at 106 births per 1000 females aged 15-19years. In addition to promoting safe sexual behaviour, utilisation of maternal health services (MHS) is essential to prevent poor outcomes of pregnancy and childbirth. To ensure optimum planning, particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, this study assesses the current service utilisation patterns of Kenyan adolescent mothers and the factors that affect this utilisation. Methods: Using data from the recently published 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey, we collected demographic and utilisation data of all three MHSs (antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA) and postnatal care (PNC)) of adolescent mothers aged 15-19years. We then conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to test associations between selected demographic and service utilisation variables. Results: Our findings showed that half of Kenyan adolescent mothers have had their first birth by the age of 16. MHS utilisation rates amongst Kenyan adolescent mothers were 93%, 65%, 92% for ANC, SBA and PNC respectively. Mother's education, religion, ethnicity, place of residence, wealth quintile, mass media exposure, and geographical region were significant predictors for both ANC and SBA utilisation. Education level of partner was significant for ANC utilisation while parity was significant for both SBA and PNC. Conclusions: Adolescent MHS utilisation is not optimum in Kenya. More work that includes affordable care provision, cultural re-orientation, targeted mass-media campaigns and male involvement in care need to be done with emphasis on the most disadvantaged areas. Keywords: Adolescents; Ante-natal care; Kenya; Maternal and child health; Post-natal care; Skilled birth attendance.