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  1. 25 years after Cairo: accelerating Africa's promise; fast-tracking progress in achieving good sexual reproductive health and rights outcomes and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

    This issue of the African Development Perspectives addresses sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa, with the backdrop of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA), signed by 179 governments twenty-five years ago, in 1994, in Cairo, Egypt, and the Nairobi Summit in November 2019, where delegates will converge to reaffirm the commitments to accelerate the promises made at the 1994 Conference. …

  2. Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study

    Poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among schoolgirls in low income countries affects girls' dignity, self-esteem, and schooling. Hygienic, effective, and sustainable menstrual products are required. A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14-16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls' perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction. …

  3. Reducing pregnancy among adolescents

    Across a range of programs, interventions that successfully changed the calculus of costs and benefits of unprotected sexual activity and childbirth delayed pregnancy among adolescents. Some programs directly altered costs and benefits while others shifted perceptions of them

  4. Cost-effectiveness analysis: educational interventions that reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS infection in Kenyan teenagers

    This paper demonstrates a comprehensive and thorough application of an education cost-effectiveness analysis. Two interventions implemented in Western Kenya aimed to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS contraction in middle school girls. The cost-effectiveness of each intervention is assessed, ex post facto, by combining the results of the two programs’ evaluations with their costs. As few education evaluations consider cost, this article highlights a sound and disciplined method to use when detailed cost information is both readily available and unavailable. …

  5. Parents’ and teachers’ views on sexual health education and screening for sexually transmitted infections among in-school adolescent girls in Kenya: a qualitative study

    Background: To successfully develop and implement school-based sexual health interventions for adolescent girls, such as screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis, it is important to understand parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards sexual health education and acceptability of sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions. Methods: In this qualitative study, we approached parents and teachers from three high schools to participate in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus-group discussions (FGDs). …

  6. Interventions for preventing unintended pregnancies among adolescents (Review)

    Background: Unintended pregnancy among adolescents represents an important public health challenge in high-income countries, as well as middle and low-income countries. Numerous prevention strategies such as health education, skills-building and improving accessibility to contraceptives have been employed by countries across the world, in an effort to address this problem. However, there is uncertainty regarding the effects of these interventions, hence the need to review the evidence-base. …

  7. Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey

    Background: Many adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries lack appropriate facilities and support in school to manage menstruation. Little research has been conducted on how menstruation affects school absence. This study examines the association of menstrual hygiene management knowledge, facilities and practice with absence from school during menstruation among Bangladeshi schoolgirls. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study in Bangladeshi schools from March to June 2013 among girls 11 to 17 years old who reached menarche. …

  8. Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries

    This paper maps the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices surrounding menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries in order to inform the future design of relevant policies and programming. The study of over 80 journal articles from a number of low and middle income countries confirmed that: (1) Many adolescent girls start their periods uninformed and unprepared. (2) Mothers are the primary source of information, but they inform girls too-little and too-late and often communicate their own misconceptions. …

  9. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  10. Interventions to prevent child marriage among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Child marriage, defined as marriage before the age of 18 years, is a human rights violation that can have lasting adverse educational and economic impacts. The objective of this review was to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decease child marriage in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched without language limitations for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. Reference tracing was used, as well as the unpacking of systematic reviews. …

  11. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  12. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  13. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  14. A comparison of the menstruation and education experiences of girls in Tanzania, Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia

    The barriers to menstrual hygiene management faced by adolescent schoolgirls in low-income countries are gaining interest at practice and policy levels. The challenges include inadequate water, sanitation and disposal facilities for the management of menses with privacy and dignity, and insufficient guidance to help girls feel confident in attending school during menses. The studies described here aimed to examine how menarche impacts the lives of schoolgirls in three low-income countries (Ghana, Cambodia and Ethiopia). …

  15. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

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