Despite the numerous policy interventions targeted at preventing early age at first childbirth globally, the prevalence of adolescent childbirth remains high. Meanwhile, skilled birth attendance is considered essential in preventing childbirth-related complications and deaths among adolescent mothers. Therefore, we estimated the prevalence of early age at first childbirth and skilled birth attendance among young women in sub-Saharan Africa and investigated the association between them.
Demographic and Health Survey data of 29 sub-Saharan African countries was utilized. Skilled birth attendance and age at first birth were the outcome and the key explanatory variables in this study respectively. Overall, a total of 52,875 young women aged 20-24 years were included in our study. A multilevel binary logistic regression analysis was performed and the results presented as crude and adjusted odds ratios at 95% confidence interval.
Approximately 73% of young women had their first birth when they were less than 20 years with Chad having the highest proportion (85.7%) and Rwanda recording the lowest (43.3%). The average proportion of those who had skilled assistance during delivery in the 29 sub-Saharan African countries was 75.3% and this ranged from 38.4% in Chad to 93.7% in Rwanda. Young women who had their first birth at the age of 20-24 were more likely to have skilled birth attendance during delivery (aOR = 2.4, CI = 2.24-2.53) than those who had their first birth before 20 years.