|Socio-demographic determinants of pregnancy termination among adolescent girls and young women in selected high fertility countries in sub-Saharan Africa
|Bright Opoku Ahinkorah
|BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , Volume 21, Article number: 598; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-04064-1
Multiple African Countries
|Background: Most of the unintended pregnancies that occur among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) end up in pregnancy termination. In this study, the socio-demographic determinants of pregnancy termination among AGYW (aged 15–24) in selected countries with high fertility rates in SSA were examined.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys of nine countries in SSA. The countries included are Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda. A total of 62,747 AGYW constituted the sample size for the study. Fixed and random effects models were used to examine the determinants of pregnancy termination with statistical significance at p < 0.05.
Results: Higher odds of pregnancy termination were found among AGYW aged 20–24, those who were cohabiting and married, those who listened to radio and watched television at least once a week and those who lived in communities with high literacy level. Conversely, the odds of pregnancy termination were lower among AGYW with three or more births and those with secondary/higher education.
Conclusion: The socio-demographic determinants of pregnancy termination among AGYW in this study were age, level of education, marital status, exposure to radio and television, parity, and community literacy level. The findings provide the needed information for designing health interventions to reduce unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions in countries with high fertility rates in SSA. It is recommended that governments and non-governmental organisations in these countries should enhance sexuality education and regular sensitization of adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes targeted at AGYW who are at risk of pregnancy termination.