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Child Pregnancy Prevention in Kenya: Rapid Review of the Literature

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Literature Review: Child Pregnancy Prevention Report - 487 KB

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In Kenya, an estimated 14% of all births occur amongst teens aged 15-19 (Riley, 2019). The increased vulnerability of young girls since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for more and better evidence-based action.  This rapid literature review examines empirical evidence to understand which interventions can reduce the rate of child pregnancy in Kenya and recommend where additional data or evidence generation could answer remaining questions about what works.

The review reveals the following interventions as effective in preventing child pregnancies in Kenya:

  • keeping girls in school, especially during the transition from primary to secondary school;
  • keeping girls engaged through skills/vocational training;
  • providing them with Comprehensive Sexual Education;
  • involving boys in the interventions; and
  • designing holistic interventions that focus on empowerment.  

As such, the authors recommend some of the following measures and interventions as key for preventing child pregnancy in Kenya:

  • use of interventions such as conditional cash transfers which keep girls in school, or support them to return to school, especially during transition periods, to reduce cases of child pregnancy;
  • use of holistic multi-pronged programs (which yield more positive results in preventing child pregnancies) compared to single-pronged approaches;
  • adoption of programs that stress the risks associated with inconsistent condom use and place a special focus on debunking myths associated with condoms;
  • use of co-ed interventions which target boys at a young age – this increases their knowledge and improves their attitudes about some sexual behaviors, and delays their sexual debut (this is an important intervention mainly because involving boys may be an important component to comprehensively solving the problem of child pregnancy), and lastly,
  • interventions focusing on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programs, which have proven to be effective in delaying sexual debut, reducing the incidence of pregnancy, and increasing knowledge on sexual and reproductive health.