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Pregnancy and child heath outcomes among adolescents in Ethiopia
Authors: Negussie Taffa, Francis Obare
Source: Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 2004;18(2):90-95
Topic(s): Child health
Pregnancy outcomes
Country: Africa
Published: NOV 2004
Abstract: Background: Adolescent mothers and their children in developing countries fare less in most social and economic outcomes of early childbearing. Clinic-based non-representative data is the mainstream source of our current knowledge on these outcomes. Objectives: The study compared teenage (below 20 years of age) and adult (20-34 years of age) mothers on sociodemographic characteristics, pregnancy outcomes, and child survival from a population-based national data. Methods: Demographic and health survey (DHS) data was used to conduct the comparison. A total of 663 teenage and 721 adult mothers who gave birth to their first child within five years preceding the survey were identified from the dataset. Results: Significantly larger proportion of the teenage mothers, were from rural areas, were poorer, less educated, and gave a history of no marriage. Controlling for potential socio-demographic confounders cancelled the difference between teenage and adult mothers in the rate of pre-natal care attendance, and operative and low birth weight deliveries. A larger percentage of home delivery was reported among teenage mothers. Children of teenage and adult mothers were likely to have comparable vaccination and morbidity status and received equivalent level of care during illness episodes. Maternal age was strongly associated with child survival. The result was contrasted with recent DHS data from Kenya and Uganda, which also showed similar pattern of pregnancy and child health outcomes. Conclusions: Most factors affecting child survival might be associated with the poor socio-economic achievements of teenage mothers than with their age at childbirth.