Helping Girls Achieve Their Goals Through Contraceptive Adoption

Grace – Kilifi county written by Pauline

Adolescence is a time when individuals should have optimal health and joy but many teenagers’ experience challenges such as teenage pregnancies. Teenage pregnancies are a global problem that occur in high, middle, and low-income counties. It is estimated that 10 percent of girls become mothers before they are 16 years (WHO 2008). Every year, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2 million girls aged under 15 years become pregnant in developing regions (WHO 2018). Sub-Saharan Africa region accounts for the highest adolescent fertility rate at 119.7 compared to the global average of 58.1 births per 1000 women aged 15-19 years (Lukale and Okande, 2012)

Data from Kenya Data and Health Survey (2014) show that one in every five girls between the age of 15-19 years is either pregnant or already a mother. As of 2019 latest statistics from the Global Childhood show that Kenya has the third-highest teen pregnancy rates with 82 births per 1,000 births. According to the United Nations Population Fund Report, Kenya has recorded 378, 397 adolescent and teenage pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 years between July 2016 and June 2017, specifically, 28, 932 girls aged 10-14 and 349,465 girls aged 15-19 became pregnant teenage pregnancy in Kenya: gloom and doom in education, health

Adolescent girls are at risk of teenage pregnancies which deter them from achieving their goals due to early school dropouts to take care of their young ones. Grace is a 19year old girl from gongoni magarini,Kilifi County. It has always been Grace’s dream to become a successful business woman by owning her salon but some happenstance has drifted the dream away in front of her eyes. She was in class 7 when she got her first boyfriend and shortly after she found out she was pregnant. Her boyfriend on knowing she was paged blew her off and she had to drop out of school in class 8 to look after her young one.

During her daily work at home, Grace was approached by one of the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in the Binti Shupavu program in the village, they had a small chat on Binti Shupavu clinic session and how she will learn about achieving her goals during the session at Gongoni Health Center. Grace was eager and on the due day, she met with other girls her age and the session began by sharing stories, experiences and challenges young girls like her go through, one of them being unplanned pregnancies. The health provider in the session helped her to understand about contraceptives and eliminated all the fears she had towards it. They also demystified myths and misconceptions known in the community and methods she can adopt.

Grace also joined Binti Shupavu fest where she was empowered economically by learning the art of making reusable pads, soap and jik. She was also linked with TVET institution (Mapimo Vocational and Training College) where she pursued her dream of becoming a hair dresser, she is in her final year and uses the soft skills to make soap and jik for her family.

Globally, the proportion of young women not in employment, education or training (NEET) is more than twice that of young men (31.1% among females versus 13.8% among males), with far wider gender gaps in some settings, UNICEF
“I’m grateful for Binti Shupavu, they created the urgency for me to go back to school where I’m pursuing my dream of being a successful hair dresser, I have also learned how to space children in order to give ample time to my young one to nourish and grow, I opted to use contraception after being offered guidance and counselling by the health provider and now I’m able to choose when to have a child” Grace

Adolescent Girls’ and Young Women’s Economic Empowerment Programs: Emerging Insights from a Review of Reviews
National Plan of Action for Addressing Adolescent Health Teenage pregnancy in kenya
teenage pregnancy in kenya: gloom and doom in education, health by Glory Ngatha Muturi (National Council for Population and Development (NCPD)

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