Determinants of teenage pregnancy in Uganda: case study of eastern Uganda
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The ministry of Health indicated, 25% of Ugandan youngsters became pregnant by the age 19 and nearly half are hitched before the age of 18 years. However Eastern Uganda continues to register rates higher than the national average. This increase in the teenage pregnancy rate is greatly influenced by the tendency of teenage girls’ engagement into early sex, higher levels of illiteracy, most teenager girls not abstaining from sex and absence of a radio in some households. When these girls are impregnated, they are denied the opportunity to continue education which puts their future at risk. Pregnant adolescents face a lot of stigma and medical complications like obstructed labor, still birth, neonatal death and sometimes vaginal vesicles fistula. Having seen the dangers of teenage pregnancy, it is important for the Government and the communities of Uganda to understand the determinants of teenage pregnancy so as to find relevant ways of curbing it. This study was carried out in Eastern Uganda using secondary data from Uganda Demographic Health Survey UDHS, 2016 Descriptive analysis, Chi square and multiple logistic regression test were used to analysis the data. The results showed that the greatest proportion of the respondents had their first sex between age 14 to 16 (70.29%), more than three quarters were from rural areas of eastern Uganda (90.96%). 78.04% had primary education and the greatest proportion were Catholics (35.66%). More than half of the respondents were from poor households (64.60%), 71.58% were not abstaining and more than three quarters were in union (76.23%). 51.68% owned a radio and 41.86% of these respondents were able to read a whole sentence. In the bivariate analysis, Age at first sex (p = 0.003), radio ownership (p = 0.008), Literacy (p = 0.007) and were found to be significant with teenage pregnancy at 5% level of significance sexual abstinence showed a very strong significant relationship with teenage pregnancy (p = 0.000). In the multivariate analysis, it was discovered that teenage girls who start sex at a latter age 17 to 19 (OR 0.17) are less likely to get pregnant. On addition Teenage girls who come from households that own a radio (OR 0.30), those who abstain (OR 0.21) and girls who can read a whole sentence (OR 0.79) are also less likely to get pregnant From the results of the study, I recommended the prohibition of marriage for girls below 18 years of age, implementing and monitoring of the defilement law so as to discourage early sexual practices. Teenage girls should be encouraged to abstain from sex. Households should be encouraged to possess radios this will enable teenage girls to access information on sexual and reproductive health Lastly the government should set up more Universal primary and secondary schools (UPE and USE) so as to increase on the number of literates in Eastern Uganda. When the reading abilities of these teenagers is enhanced, this enables them to get information regarding the dangers of teenage pregnancy and its complication especially from the billboards, text books among others which helps them in decision making especially on sexual matters.