The factors associated with of teenage pregnancy in Teso Sub-region of Uganda
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Teenage pregnancy has significant effects on the level of education of women, their employment opportunities, and marital stability which increases their economic and social dependency on family and neighbors and situations in which a man remains the only option for survival in a family. It is estimated that 24 percent of pregnant mothers suffer from pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and above 50 percent of girls suffer from high blood pressure. In 2014, 24 percent of teenagers in Uganda had begun childbearing, 18 percent have had a child already and 6 percent are carrying their first child. Even though these rates have been reducing over time, the Teso subregion of Uganda still has worrying rates whereby above 3 in 10 (31.4%) girls become pregnant before 20 years. The study used the UDHS women’s dataset (UGIR file). The weighted sample size was 928 women aged 15-49 from the Teso sub-region were included in the study. The dataset was accessed up-on registration and approval on the DHS program. According to the study results, the majority of the respondents, initiated sex and started cohabiting before age 20, belonged to low wealth quintile households, had attained primary school education level, belonged to Anglican religion, had 5+ siblings, were unemployed, and had access to media/ listened to the radio. The study results show that the overall teenage pregnancy in the region was 63.2 percent which varied significantly by age at first sex, age at first cohabitation, wealth quintile, education, employment status, and access to media. The study recommended massive investment in education, SHRH services including counseling and contraception to curb this community problem of teenage pregnancy. The study also recommends childhood interventions and youth development programs to enhance education and social support in developing their career aspirations. Special consideration of the poor and other marginalized groups should be key while designing programs and policies to reduce or end teenage pregnancy in Teso.