The Star (Nairobi)

19 August 2014

Kenya: Teenagers in Slums Are Having Sex, 39 Percent Use Contraceptives - Report

Thirty nine percent of teenagers between the ages 15 - 19 living in the slums are using contraceptives, with 12 percent of teenagers admitting to using a condom as their preferred contraceptive.

A report released by the African Population and Health Research Center puts this as a worrying trend as it indicates that teenagers living in slums are having sex at an early age.

Lead researcher Blessing Mberu says the Government must put in place effective measures to prevent young girls from engaging in sexual acts at an early age.

"Sex is a key issue because it is the door to a lot of things including diseases. A lot of young women are having sexual relationships with older people and will not be able to complete their education," said Mberu.

When comparing the case of single women and those who are married, only 57.3 percent of married women who are also living in slums are using contraceptives as compared to 39 percent of those living in the affluent areas of the city.

The most common type of contraceptive used by married women are injectables (58 percent), pills (27 percent), male condoms (11.4 percent) and implants (9.5 percent) while single women prefer using injectables (36 percent), male condoms (34 percent)), and pills (19.5 per cent).

"The level of contraceptive use in Kenya is not enough to push the demographic transition to a point where it will be sustainable," said Mberu.

The survey also relieved that the increase of using contraceptives is driven by married women and not single women.

Those who have more than one sexual partner have also reduced by 3 percent. 7.8 percent of single women have more than one sexual partner as compared to statistics released in 2000 that stood at 11 percent. Only 1 percent of married women have multiple partners.

The survey was conducted in 2002 and over 5000 people were interviewed.

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