Poor access to Sexual Reproductive Services leading to increased unintended teen pregnancies
The Department of Health Services has held a productive engagement with the African Population and Health Research Center- APHRC. APHRC is a global research centre invested in creating a legacy impact on integrated Research Capacity Strengthening, policy engagements, and Communications.
During the engagement, the County Health management team led by the Health Sector Research Committee received feedback on the research conducted by the APHRC to evaluate the accessibility of integrated Sexual Reproductive Health-SRH services for Adolescents in Naivasha Sub-county. Currently, Nakuru County teenage pregnancies stand at 18.4%
The County Director for Public Health and the chairperson of the Research Committee, Ms Elizabeth Kiptoo, said that this feedback is timely when the Department is at the development stage of the Health Sector Strategic plan.
“The department will take up the recommendations given and data generated from this research to inform policy decisions,” noted ms Kiptoo.
The research has shown that the rate of unintended pregnancy is higher among adolescents aged 10 -19 years due to poor access to utilization of Sexual Reproductive Health services and information. The County will adopt messaging criteria to disseminate SRH information to the public through its validated communication channels.
Grace Kimemia, a Research Analyst at APHRC, said that higher incidences of unintended pregnancies lead to higher incidences of abortion. She noted that half of all pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15 -19 are unplanned and often end up in unsafe abortions due to legally restrictive contexts.
“The main objective of this research was to help the County adopt strategies to end teenage pregnancies and reduce harm from unsafe abortion through increased access to SRH information,” she said.