Over 100 Girls Died From Pregnancy In Kenyan Last Year
- This represents a significant increase over the previous year. 31 girls died in 2020 as a result of similar complications.
- Most of the reported deaths are the result of unsafe abortions and the fact that some of the girls’ bodies are not developed enough to carry a foetus, resulting in obstructed labor.
According to figures just released by Kenya’s health ministry, 104 girls aged 10 to 19 died as a result of pregnancy-related issues last year.
This represents a significant increase over the previous year. 31 girls died in 2020 as a result of similar complications.
The reported deaths are primarily the result of unsafe abortions and the fact that some of the girls’ bodies are not developed enough to carry a foetus, causing obstructed labor.
Acting Director of Medical Services Dr Andrew Mulwa stated that this increase should not be interpreted as an increase in maternity deaths.
He stated that as more pregnant women seek help from clinics, the deaths of those who unfortunately die are more likely to be recorded.
Kenya has a young population, with 67% of the population under the age of 29.
According to data from the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) and the Ministry of Health, teenage girls continue to face the triple threat of sexual exploitation, pregnancy, and HIV infection.
Kenya has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy and motherhood, with one in every ten teenage girls aged 10 to 19 either pregnant or having given birth to her first child. Since 2008, the prevalence has not changed significantly.
Kenya recorded 45,724 cases of teen pregnancy aged 10 to 19 years between January and February 2022. There were 2,196 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) reported among those aged 12 to 17, with 98 girls aged 10 to 19 infected with HIV as a result of SGBV.
The same age group had a high unmet need for contraception at 23%, compared to 18% in the national figures, with more than 60% not using any method.
The ministry of health recorded 12,520 cases of SGBV in 2021 and was able to provide HIV prevention services to 4,664 young survivors, but 53 of the survivors had contracted HIV.
Significantly, the number of HIV infections among adolescent girls has decreased from 343 in 2015 to 98 per week, representing a 71% decrease in HIV infections.
In 2021, adolescent mothers aged 10-19 made up 21% of all antenatal care attendances, down from 427,135 cases of teenage pregnancies reported at antenatal clinics in 2018. Although the numbers remained high, they had decreased by 26% to 317,644 in 2021. A total of 23,279 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were found to be pregnant.
HIV programs resulted in a 67% decrease in annual AIDS-related deaths between 2013 and 2021.