Impact of teenage pregnancies and childbirth on the health status of young mothers in Busia District, East Africa
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A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out in Busia district, eastern Uganda focused on assessing the extent to which teenage pregnancies affect the health status of teen age mothers. Specifically, the study assessed morbidity among young mothers, their health seeking behavior and the impact of these pregnancies to young mothers. Quantitative methods of data collection using semi structured questionnaires collected the data on an individual basis. The respondents were young mothers aged 15 – 24 years, who had had their first pregnancy between ages 13-19 years. Respondents were purposively selected from four sampled sub counties in the district. Results show that majority of the teen mothers had poor health seeking behaviour, attending ANC only once and very late in the second and third trimester. Further more, majority (64%) of the children born by teen mothers were not attended to by trained medical personnel with another 10% of these deliveries being not attended to at all, not even by untrained person. Teen mothers residing in rural areas (68%) developed more pregnancy related complications than those in urban areas. Chi square tests show that age and residence of young mothers had a significant association with pregnancy outcome (p <0.05), while marital status, education and occupation did not have significant association with pregnancy outcome (p >0.05). There is need for the district to provide good-high quality affordable youth friendly health care and information to these mothers. These services take into account the teenagers different age groups and should be spread to rural areas so as to benefit teenage mothers residing there.