School girl walks home after school. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

Kenya ranks third globally in teenage pregnancies, with one in every five adolescents aged 15-19 already mothers or expecting their first child, as reported in 2022. The Ministry of Health and the National Aids Control Council (NACC) highlight a surge in new HIV infections and adolescent pregnancies.

Poverty and a lack of education were associated with higher rates of adolescent pregnancy as about 4 in 10 women aged 15-19 years who have no education have ever been pregnant, compared to only 5% of women who have more than secondary education. 

Notably, nine counties—Nairobi, Kajiado, Homabay, Meru, Kericho, Narok, Kisii, Mandera, and Bomet—account for 56% of all teenage pregnancies in the 10-14 age group. Disturbingly, adolescents aged 10-19 make up 53% of sexual gender-based violence cases in 2021 and contribute to 61% of new adult HIV infections.

The household-based survey shows that teenage pregnancy rates declined to 15% in 2022, from 18% in 2014.