Sexuality and the risk of teenage pregnancy in Burundi

L. Ntakarutimana, E-T. Godonou, M. Merckling, A. Labat

8th Virtual East African Health and Scientific Conference, 17-19 nov 2021, Virtual from Nairobi, Kenya


Early sexual activity and non-use of contraceptive methods are often linked to an increased risk of teenage pregnancy and dropping out of school, which can seriously jeopardize their future. This study describes sexuality and the risk of pregnancy among adolescents in Burundi.


A four-stage survey design, with 110 clusters, was conducted in 2019. 2085 adolescents aged 10-24 years were interviewed in 11 of the 18 provinces of Burundi.


Regardless of gender, 18.5% of adolescents have already had sex. This proportion is 6.1%, 19.2% and 50.7% for the age groups of 10-14 years; 15-19 and 20-24, respectively.  

The percentage of pregnancy is 21.9%6807 among young girls aged 15-19 and 49.4% among those of 20-24 years; no girl in the 10-14 age group has ever been pregnant.

Regardless of gender or age, 24.9% adolescents used condom the last time they had sex. Among those who did not use it, about one in five (19.1%) used another method that was primarily the pill or intra-uterine device. 


Premature sexuality and pregnancy are reality among adolescents in Burundi; and one in five adolescent girls aged 15-19 has been pregnant. These results are particularly worrying in a context where pregnancy is one of the major reasons for dropping out of school among young girls. We recommend the Government of Burundi should strengthen adolescent sexual health promotion, particularly through information and access to quality health care and services in order to help accelerate the achievement of sustainable development Goal 3.