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Trends and Determinants of Teenage Childbearing in Ethiopia: Evidence from the 2000 to 2016 Demographic and Health Surveys
Authors: Getachew Mullu Kassa, Ayodele O Arowojolu, Akin-Tunde Ademola Odukogbe, and Alemayehu Worku Yalew
Source: Italian Journal of Pediatrics , 45(1): 153; DOI: 10.1186/s13052-019-0745-4
Topic(s): First intercourse
Pregnancy outcomes
Reproductive health
Country: Africa
Published: NOV 2019
Abstract: Background: Teenage childbearing among adolescents aged 15 to 19 is a common sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issue among young people, particularly in developing countries. It is associated with higher maternal and neonatal complications. Almost half (47%) of the population in Ethiopia are young people under 15 years old. Therefore, a clear understanding of the trend and determinants of teenage childbearing is essential to design proper intervention programs. Methods: Secondary analysis of the 2000 to 2016 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data were conducted. A total of 3710 (DHS 2000), 3266 (DHS 2005), 4009 (DHS 2011) and 3381 (DHS 2016) adolescents (aged 15 to 19 years old) were included from the four surveys. The main outcome variable of this study was teenage childbearing, and independent variables were categorized into individual- and community-level factors. The 2016 DHS was used to identify the factors associated with teenage childbearing. Multi-level logistic regression analysis technique was used to identify the factors associated with teenage childbearing. The analysis was adjusted for different individual- and community- level factors affecting teenage childbearing. Data analysis was conducted using STATA software. Results: The prevalence of adolescents who started childbearing reduced from 16.3% in 2000 DHS to 12.5% in 2016 DHS, p-value = < 0.0001. From the 2016 DHS, the percentage of adolescents who have had a live birth was 10.1%, and the percentage of adolescents who were currently pregnant was 2.4%. The highest percentage of teenage childbearing was in Affar region (23.4%), and the lowest was in Addis Ababa city (3%). The odds of teenage childbearing was higher among adolescents in the age range of 18-19 years old (AOR = 2.26; 95% CI: 1.29, 3.94, p-value < 0.01), those who started sexual intercourse before their eighteenth birthday (AOR = 12.74; 95% CI: 4.83, 33.62, p-value < 0.001), who were married or living together (AOR = 8.98; 95% CI: 2.49, 32.41, p-value < 0.01), and among those who were widowed, divorced or separated (AOR = 4.89; 95% CI: 1.36, 17.61, p-value < 0.05). Conclusions: One in ten teenage girls have already started childbearing in Ethiopia. Variations were observed in the percentage of teenage childbearing across different sociodemographic- and economic variables. Factors like age, early sexual initiation before 18 years of age, ever married, and geographical region were significant factors associated with teenage childbearing. School- and community- based intervention programs aimed at prevention of early marriage and early sexual intercourse is essential to reduce teenage childbearing and its complications. Keywords: Adolescents; Demographic and health survey; Ethiopia; Teenage childbearing; Teenage pregnancy.