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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy. State of world population 2013

    Every day in developing countries, 20,000 girls below age 18 give birth. Nine in 10 of these births occur within marriage or a union. This has consequences on the health, education, employment and rights of an untold millions of girls. What are the challenges of adolescent pregnancy, and what can we do to ensure girls have a healthy and safe transition into adulthood?

  2. Early adolescent pregnancy increases risk of incident HIV infection in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: a longitudinal study

    INTRODUCTION: Adolescents having unprotected heterosexual intercourse are at risk of HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy. However, there is little evidence to indicate whether pregnancy in early adolescence increases the risk of subsequent HIV infection. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that adolescent pregnancy (aged 15 or younger) increases the risk of incident HIV infection in young South African women. …

  3. Education sector policy for the prevention and management of learner pregnancy

    The goal of this policy is to improve the prevention and management of learner pregnancy in Namibia, with the ultimate aim of decreasing the number of learner pregnancies and increasing the number of learner-parents who complete their education. Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realising other human rights. In order to meet Vision 2030, it is essential that a policy is put in place to address learner pregnancy that will make a real and sustainable difference in the lives of children and their children. …

  4. I want to study with all my heart: Unpacking reasons for girls' school drop-out in West Nile, Uganda

    From 2013 to 2014 ICRW and the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda (FAWEU) partnered to answer several questions about girls’ education in two districts in the West Nile sub-region of Northwestern Uganda: What percentage of adolescent girls (14-18) have dropped out of school? How much of girls’ drop-out could be explained by pregnancy? To what extent are gendered social norms and the effects of conflict influencing pregnancy and drop-out? …

  5. Teenage pregnancy in South Africa: With a specific focus on school-going learners

    The purpose of the study was to document, review and critically analyse literature on teenage pregnancy with a focus on school-going adolescents. The specific objectives were as follows: To review existing literature and conduct statistical analyses to establish the prevalence and determinants of teenage pregnancy; To assess the individual, familial and educative impact of teenage pregnancy; To identify and assess the impact of interventions for teenage pregnancy; and To propose a conceptual framework for research and interventions to prevent and mitigate the impact of teen pregnancy. …

  6. Unintended pregnancy and abortion in Uganda

    Unintended pregnancy is common in Uganda, leading to high levels of unplanned births, unsafe abortions, and maternal injury and death. Because most pregnancies that end in abortion are unwanted, nearly all ill health and mortality resulting from unsafe abortion is preventable. This report summarizes evidence on the context and consequences of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion in Uganda, points out gaps in knowledge, and highlights steps that can be taken to reduce levels of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion, and, in turn, the high level of maternal mortality.

  7. Books and babies. Pregnancy and young parents in schools

    Being pregnant and a young parent in South African schools is not easy. Books and Babies examines why this is the case. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative research conducted in secondary schools in Durban and Cape Town, the book explores how teachers and principals respond to the presence of pregnant learners and young parents in school, and surveys the attitudes of fellow learners towards them. …

  8. Teenage, married and out of school. Effects of early marriage and childbirth on school dropout

    In this paper, we tackle the question of causality between early marriage and school dropout, using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from nine Southern and Eastern African countries. By comparing school participation patterns of girls who were married before or during the school year in question to those were never married, we are able to establish a sequence of events and therefore, a more solid foundation for treating marriage as a cause of school dropout. In short, the first research question for this paper is as follows: Research Question 1. …

  9. Let girls be girls, not mothers! National strategy for the reduction of teenage pregnancy (2013-2015)

    The approach of this strategy follows a twin-track strategy which will intervene at two levels: At the policy level, partners of the programme aim at reviewing existing policies and legal documents or at developing new instruments to protect adolescents and young people's rights and guarantee their access to SRHR information and services; at the community level, partners are mobilized to reduce early childbearing and teenage pregnancy through improved access to SRHR services for young people, comprehensive education on early childbearing and teenage pregnancy and SRHR in general as well as thr …

  10. A review of teenage pregnancy in South Africa – experiences of schooling, and knowledge and access to sexual and reproductive health services

    Approximately 30% of teenagers in South Africa report ‘ever having been pregnant’, the majority, unplanned. While this number has decreased over the past few decades, it is still unacceptably high. The figure is for all teenagers. (13-19 years old), but motherhood for an 18 or 19 year old has very different implications than for a young teenager, one aged 15, for example. Therefore this report tries, where possible, to be mindful of differing experiences of pregnancy and motherhood across the teen years. …

  11. Adolescent pregnancy and associated factors in South African youth

    Background: Adolescent pregnancy, occurring in girls aged 10–19 years, remains a serious health and social problem worldwide, and has been associated with numerous risk factors evident in the young people’s family, peer, school, and neighbourhood contexts. Objective: To assess the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy and associated factors in the South African context, as part of a population-based household survey that formed part of an evaluation of the impact of loveLife, South Africa’s national HIV prevention campaign for young people. …

  12. Preventing HIV and unintended pregnancies: strategic framework 2011–2015

    This framework supports the 'Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive'. It is a product of The Inter-agency Task Team (IATT) for Prevention and Treatment of HIV Infection in Pregnant Women, Mothers, and their Children and was developed by the IATT Working Group on Primary Prevention of HIV and the Prevention of Unintended Pregnancies in Women Living with HIV (now included with the Integration Working Group under the re-configured IATT). It offers guidance to: 1. …

  13. WHO guidelines on preventing early pregnancy and poor reproductive outcomes among adolescents in developing countries

    These guidelines provide recommendations on action and research for a) preventing early pregnancy: by preventing marriage before 18 years of age; by increasing knowledge and understanding of the importance of pregnancy prevention; by increasing the use of contraception; and by preventing coerced sex; and b) preventing poor reproductive outcomes: by reducing unsafe abortions; and by increasing the use of skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care. …

  14. Girls' schooling and the perceived threat of adolescent sexual activity in rural Malawi

    Despite its relative infrequency, pregnancy is perceived by parents in rural Malawi as a leading cause of school dropout among female students. This paper explores parents' beliefs about adolescent sexual activity and schoolgirl pregnancy and how these perceptions frame parents' aspirations and expectations about girls' schooling. In-depth interviews were collected in rural Malawi from 60 adults aged 25–50 who were the parent of at least one school-aged child. …

  15. Mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy: Experiences form an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

    Parental communication and support is associated with improved developmental, health and behavioral outcomes in adolescence. This study explores the quality of mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We use data from 14 focus group discussions (n = 124) and 25 interviews with girls aged 12-17, mothers of teenage girls, and key informant teachers. …

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