Determinants of Teenage Pregnancy in Rural Communities of Abia State, South East Nigeria
AbstractAim: To investigate the determinants of teenage pregnancies in a rural community.
Method: A household survey was conducted; 359 girls aged 10- 19 years, were randomly selected, and using the WHO/EPI cluster sampling method for immunization coverage, were interviewed using interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaire. Information was sought on their socio- demographic status, age of sexual debut, use of condoms, pregnancy and its outcome and the “Osu” caste system. In addition focus group discussions were held with teenage girls, older mothers, adolescent males and older fathers. Data was analysed with Epi -INFO software version 6.0 for the household survey and manual content analysis was done for the focus group discussions.
Results: About 263(73.2%) were single, 210(58.5%) were currently enrolled in schools, 186(51.8%) were Protestants and 46.0% Roman Catholics. The mean age at first sexual intercourse was 14.3 years (SD 2.2) and rate of ever - use of the male condom by their sex partners was 40.9%. The prevalence of teenage pregnancy was 163(45.4%). Teenage pregnancy was significantly associated with age, occupation, no education, early marriage, religion and practice of “Osu” caste system. While 115(70.9%) of the pregnancies ended in live spontaneous vaginal delivery, 27(16.4%) had induced abortion, 9(6.5%) caesarean section and 12(7.3%) ended in stillbirth. Male condom is misused.
Conclusion: Better education on the proper use of the condom and programmes to enlighten teenagers on reproductive health issues is advocated, while efforts to change unhealthy cultural values and practices with appropriate IEC activities should be made.
Key Words: Teenage pregnancy, rural communities, Nigeria
Journal of College of Medicine Vol.9(1) 2004: 28-33