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Beyond Statistics, Our Lives Matter

Adolescent fertility rate (births per 1,000 women ages 15-19) in Kenya was reported at 81.79 in 2016, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources1 .The number of young mothers aged 15-19 has more than doubled in the last decade.

Teen pregnancy and motherhood rates in Kenya stand at 18%. About 1 in every 5 adolescent girls has either had a live birth, or is pregnant with her first child. Rates increase rapidly with age: from 3% among girls at 15 yrs. old, to 40% among girls at 19 yrs. old. The situation varies across counties; with some counties seeing higher rates than others2.

There is still a low number of women who use modern contraceptives in Kenya, contraceptive use among teens has been consistently low, increasing to just 10% in 2014 from 6% five years earlier3. Owing to lack of access to contraceptive information, services, and supplies, poor, rural, and young women are likely to experience unintended pregnancy and resort to unsafe abortion procedures. This translates into an abortion rate of 48 per 1,000 women aged 15–49, and an abortion ratio of 30 per 100 live