Most sexually active adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa are not using modern methods of contraception. While long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs) – such as the intrauterine device (IUD) and the implant – are highly effective, convenient and cost-effective, their uptake among young women is low.
To meet the unique sexual and reproductive health needs of its large adolescent and youth population, Ethiopia’s government has expanded and institutionalized youth-friendly services (YFS) at all levels of the health system. To help inform and improve these efforts, the Evidence Project, in collaboration with USAID/Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, conducted a study on adolescents’ and young people’s use of and opinions on YFS.
Married young women and girls are the primary users of youth-centered sexual and reproductive health services in Ethiopia and, given the health risks associated with early and closely-spaced pregnancies, represent an especially important population to reach with SRH services. This brief looks specifically at the needs and preferences for family planning and reproductive health services among married young women and girls, with recommendations for how to more effectively ensure that they have access to those services.
To help address the unmet demand for contraception among Ethiopian youth, E2A, in collaboration with the Integrated Family Health Program Plus (IFHP+), tested a model that strengthened family planning service delivery at youth-friendly service sites by readying the sites to provide adolescents and youth full contraceptive choice including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). The study was implemented at 10 intervention and 10 non-equivalent comparison study sites in Amhara and Tigray regions. The model tested was:
Despite robust evidence regarding long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) low failure rates, immediate return to fertility and safety, LARC uptake among youth is low. We evaluated the effect on contraceptive uptake of training youth-friendly service providers to counsel and provide all contraceptive methods including LARCs in the same unit. A convenience purposive sampling technique was used to select 20 youth friendly health units; ten each in Amhara and Tigray regions, Ethiopia; randomly allocated to the intervention (five) and non-intervention (five) arms.
Of the women in the world today, approximately 250,000,000 were married before the age of 15, and another approximately 450,000,000 were married between the ages of 15 and 18 (United Nations Children’s Fund 2014). Though child marriage is declining globally, it is estimated that over 100 million girls under age 18 will be married in the next decade (UNICEF 2015). Risk for child marriage varies, even within a country, with risk factors including things such as poverty, ethnic group, and rural residency.
The research investigated the root causes, experiences and policy and related responses to the problem of teenage pregnancies in Kilifi County. Teenage pregnancies affect one in every four girls within the county making it the worst county in Kenya. This report has helped increase county decision makers’ appreciation of the magnitude of teenage pregnancies in Kenya’s Coastal region. It also convinced the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims to accept family planning.
Looking disturbed, 20-year-old Nelson Matatizo Mumba says he is uncomfortable to come back again to Chitipa District Hospital to seek reproductive health services.
The young man from Kameme Village in Traditional Authority Kameme in the district is disillusioned by the general absence of Youth Reproductive Friendly Health Services (YRFHS) at the hospital.
We have close to 236.5 million adolescents in India today. This young generation, aged between 10 and 19 years, is the future of this country. They will drive our economic growth and social development in the decades to come and take us down the road to prosperity, provided we ensure that their health and wellbeing becomes and remains a top national priority.
The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) has stated that it is working hard to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy in the country in the coming years.
It said the decision was in line with the organisation’s policy to promote the physical and mental health of families, especially the youth, through positive sexual behaviour.