Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 12, 2016

Utilisation of maternal health services by adolescent mothers in Kenya: analysis of the demographic health survey 2008–2009

Oluwasola Banke-Thomas, Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas and Charles Anawo Ameh



Many Kenyan adolescents die following pregnancy and childbirth complications. Maternal health services (MHS) utilisation is key to averting such poor outcomes. Our objectives were to understand the characteristics of adolescent mothers in Kenya, describe their MHS utilisation pattern and explore factors that influence this pattern.


We collected demographic and MHS utilisation data of all 301 adolescent mothers aged 15–19 years included in the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2008/2009 (KDHS). Descriptive statistics were used to characterise them and their MHS utilisation patterns. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to test associations between selected predictor variables and MHS utilisation.


Eighty-six percent, 48% and 86% of adolescent mothers used ante-natal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA) and post-natal care (PNC), respectively. Adolescent mothers from the richest quintile were nine (CI=2.00–81.24, p=0.001) and seven (CI=3.22–16.22, p<0.001) times more likely to use ANC and SBA, respectively, compared to those from the poorest. Those with primary education were four (CI=1.68–9.64, p<0.001) and two (CI=0.97–4.81, p=0.043) times more likely to receive ANC and SBA, respectively, compared to uneducated mothers, with similar significant findings amongst their partners. Urban adolescent mothers were six (CI=1.89–32.45, p=0.001) and four (CI=2.00–6.20, p<0.001) times more likely to use ANC and SBA, respectively, compared to their rural counterparts. The odds of Maasai adolescent mothers using ANC was 90% (CI=0.02–0.93, p=0.010) lower than that of Kalenjin mothers.


Adolescent MHS utilisation in Kenya is an inequality issue. To address this, focus should be on the poorest, least educated, rural-dwelling adolescent mothers living in the most disadvantaged communities.


We thank Measure Demographic Health Survey for granting access to the dataset used for this research.

  1. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

  2. Author’s contributions: Oluwasola Banke-Thomas and Charles Anawo Ameh conceived and designed the study. Oluwasola Banke-Thomas and Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas collected the data and created sub-set data for analysis. All authors were involved in data analysis and interpretation. All authors contributed to manuscript preparation, read and approved the final version.


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Received: 2016-5-3
Accepted: 2016-8-14
Published Online: 2016-10-12

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