Kenya youth engage in sex out of curiosity, a new study has found. According to a family planning study commissioned by Performance Monitoring for Action Kenya, out of 10 youth in the country, six were driven by curiosity about their first sexual encounter Respondents were curious, 39 percent were entranced, 20 percent said they would what was expected of them, 16 percent were being forced against their will, and 15 percent were under the influence of a substance.
< p>The study of family planning uptake in 11 counties collected data from 6,000 respondents. It found that out of 10 adolescents, four have had sex, while six are willing to have sex.
The report also revealed that around six in 10 adolescents did not use contraception in their most recent sexual encounter, and only 14 percent of all adolescents (15-19 years) use modern contraceptives. Of those who use contraceptives, four out of ten get them from a pharmacy, 24 percent from pharmacies, 21 percent from health centers and the rest from shops and private establishments.
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“Family planning is much lower among married adolescents (42.9) than among other women (57.7),” said Prof Peter Gichangi, Principal Researchers at Performance Monitoring for Action Kenya.
Prof Gichangi said modern contraceptive use among unmarried, sexually active women increased from 62 percent in 2020 to 64 percent in 2021.< p>The use of modern methods among married women remained constant at 61 percent. This means that more unmarried women used contraception than their married counterparts.
Women of childbearing age, aged 15 to 49, were interviewed for the study. The government warned that giving contraceptives to minors is illegal.
Dr. Stephen Kaliti, head of the Department of Reproductive and Maternal Health at the Department of Health, said giving contraceptives to minors violated the Children’s Act.
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Adolescent sexuality, transition and reproductive health issues have been a hot topic for some county reproductive health coordinators, calling for teens to be given contraceptives to curb teenage pregnancy.
One in four girls in Kenya between the ages of 10 and 19 is either pregnant or has given birth to their first child, according to the 2021 National Council for Population and Development Report.
Dr. Kaliti urged stakeholders to focus on the discussion of underage sex.
“We cannot normalize an illegality because it happens. Children should be in school and protected. Making decisions about sexuality and reproduction requires a high level of people skills,” he said.
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Data also revealed that long-acting method use increased from 28 percent in 2020 to 29 percent in 2021, while short-acting method use fell from 33 percent to 32 percent.
Nyamira County leads the way 69 percent of women using modern contraception, followed by Nandi, Nairobi and Kericho at 68 percent, Kiambu 67 percent, Kitui 65 percent, Kakamega 64 percent, Bungoma 63 percent, Siaya 60 percent, Kilifi 49 percent and West Pokot 30 percent .
The overall demand for the methods increased from 77 percent to 79 percent. Unmet need has fallen significantly since 2014, from 21% to 14%.
The country has set a target to increase contraceptive prevalence to 66% by 2030 and 70% by 2050.