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Utilisation of maternal health services by adolescent mothers in Kenya: analysis of the demographic health survey 2008-2009
Authors: Oluwasola Banke-Thomas, Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas, and Charles Anawo Ameh
Source: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 30(2); DOI: 10.1515/ijamh-2016-0042
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Delivery care
Health care utilization
Maternal health
Postnatal care
Country: Africa
Published: OCT 2016
Abstract: Background: Many Kenyan adolescents die following pregnancy and childbirth complications. Maternal health services (MHS) utilisation is key to averting such poor outcomes. Our objectives were to understand the characteristics of adolescent mothers in Kenya, describe their MHS utilisation pattern and explore factors that influence this pattern. Methods: We collected demographic and MHS utilisation data of all 301 adolescent mothers aged 15-19 years included in the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2008/2009 (KDHS). Descriptive statistics were used to characterise them and their MHS utilisation patterns. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to test associations between selected predictor variables and MHS utilisation. Findings: Eighty-six percent, 48% and 86% of adolescent mothers used ante-natal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA) and post-natal care (PNC), respectively. Adolescent mothers from the richest quintile were nine (CI=2.00-81.24, p=0.001) and seven (CI=3.22-16.22, p<0.001) times more likely to use ANC and SBA, respectively, compared to those from the poorest. Those with primary education were four (CI=1.68-9.64, p<0.001) and two (CI=0.97-4.81, p=0.043) times more likely to receive ANC and SBA, respectively, compared to uneducated mothers, with similar significant findings amongst their partners. Urban adolescent mothers were six (CI=1.89-32.45, p=0.001) and four (CI=2.00-6.20, p<0.001) times more likely to use ANC and SBA, respectively, compared to their rural counterparts. The odds of Maasai adolescent mothers using ANC was 90% (CI=0.02-0.93, p=0.010) lower than that of Kalenjin mothers. Conclusions: Adolescent MHS utilisation in Kenya is an inequality issue. To address this, focus should be on the poorest, least educated, rural-dwelling adolescent mothers living in the most disadvantaged communities. Keywords: Kenya; adolescent health; adolescents; ante-natal care (ANC); delivery; maternal health; maternal health services (MHS); post-natal care (PNC); utilisation of health services.