Perceptions as a barrier to contraceptive use among adolescents: A case study of Nairobi, Kenya

Joyce W. Kinaro, University of Nairobi

Reports indicate that contraceptive use among adolescents in Kenya is low. This study uses a case study in Nairobi to investigate perceptions that influence contraceptive use among adolescents 15-19 years old. The study utilizes information collected using structured interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews (IDIs) in Nairobi. The results show that the main perceptions associated with contraceptive use are parental approval, opinion of adolescents, ability to get a method for self and discussion with sexual partner. Results of FGDs and IDIs show that teachers lack adequate skills while parents feel inadequate to teach sexuality issues. Despite the fact that the family and school are critical socialization institutions, teachers and parents focus on discouraging use of contraceptives with more adolescents using contraceptives getting sexuality information from other sources and this poses a significant challenge for policies and programs. Key words: Adolescents, perceptions, barriers, sexuality, contraceptive use, Kenya

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Presented in Session 122: Case studies in addressing barriers to contraceptive use and enhancing commodity security