By Bell Pere
Narok County recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancies this year compared to other counties.
Chief Nurse Bernard Lemeria said that 40 per cent of teenage girls in the county get pregnant while only 33 per cent of Narok residents use contraceptives.
He was speaking during the celebration of 2019 World Contraception Day held at Narok County Referral Hospital.
Education stakeholders in the county have raised concerns over the high number of girls owing to early pregnancies.
A 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) showed that Narok leads in teen pregnancies where one in every five teenage girls are either pregnant or have given birth.
This has been attributed to socio-cultural practices of the Maa people where a girl is circumcised and married off at an early age.
Early marriages and limited use of contraceptives puts them at risk of pregnancy related complications.
The report noted that 26 out of every 100 women in Kenya get married before the age of 19 and 103 out of every 1000 pregnancies occur between the age of 15 and 19.
In Narok the low uptake of family planning has been attributed to high levels of illiteracy and outdated cultural practices.
Lemeria urged Narok residents to embrace use of modern family planning methods.
“Family planning does not mean that you stop giving birth, but planning on how to get children depending on your ability,” he said
Narok North Sub-County Medical Officer of Health Dr Esther Achula said there was need to educate the residents on family planning.
“We need to sensitize our people on the different types of family planning such as hormonal contraception pill that are given in the government and private health facilities for free,” she said.
Research has shown over 300,000 induced abortion occur in Kenya every year, leading to deaths of over 2,500 women, which would have been avoided if contraceptives were used.