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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Early marriage, pregnancy and girl child school dropout

    The aim of this review was to present the recent evidence on the impact of early marriage and/or pregnancy on the rates of girl child drop out. It also synthesises evidence that focus on laws, policies and practices that force pregnant girls or new mothers out of school. Although early marriage and pregnancy are often linked to school dropout, evidence proving a direct and causal link is limited. This is because early marriage and pregnancy can be both the cause and consequence of dropping out of school. …

  2. Harmonizing the legal environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights: A review of 23 countries in East and Southern Africa

    The study reviews the laws, policies and related frameworks in 23 countries in East and Southern Africa (ESA) that create either impediments to, or an enabling environment for, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. The assessment resulted in the development of a harmonized regional legal framework, which translates international and regional legal provisions into useful strategies. It gives recommendations based on applicable core legal values and principles gleaned from a range of conventions, charters, political commitments, guidelines and declarations. …

  3. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  4. Rethinking sexual agency: proposing a multicomponent model based on young people’s life stories

    Sexual health policies explicitly aim to encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexuality to prevent adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, STIs and sexual assault. In Europe and North America, ‘choice’ has become a central concept in sexual and reproductive health policy making. However, the concept of choice is not unproblematic, not least because the cultural emphasis on individual responsibility obscures structural limitations and inequalities, and mutual responsibility between partners. …

  5. Child marriage: a mapping of programmes and partners in twelve countries in East and Southern Africa

    This report presents the results of a mapping of programmes and partnerships that seek to prevent and mitigate the effects of child marriage in East and Southern Africa. The mapping focused on 12 countries in the region where the prevalence of child marriage is greater than 30 per cent: Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. …

  6. The effects of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior: a systematic review

    We conducted a systematic review to assess the impact of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior. We searched PubMed to identify English-language studies evaluating school-based CAPs that reported process (i.e. number of condoms distributed or used) and sexual behavior measures. We identified nine studies that met our inclusion criteria, with the majority conducted in the United States of America. We judged most studies to have medium risk of bias. …

  7. Addressing challenges facing adolescents in knowing and managing their HIV status in sub-Saharan Africa

    This policy paper was conceived at a joint LSHTM-Sentebale roundtable meeting in July 2017; three young people from Lesotho and Botswana presented their personal experiences and challenges of living with HIV to an audience including Prince Harry, leading HIV researchers, and senior staff from organisations such as UNAIDS, PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. This paper profiles some promising approaches to address challenges and barriers identified by adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV). …

  8. Interventions for preventing unintended, rapid repeat pregnancy among adolescents: A review of the evidence and lessons from high-quality evaluations

    In 2017, of the 22.5 million parenting adolescents (ages 15–19) in 60 countries, approximately 4.1 million gave birth to a second or higher-order child. Adolescent pregnancy in general, and rapid repeat pregnancies specifically, expose young mothers and their children to multiple health and socioeconomic risks. The purpose of this article is to review the impact of interventions designed to prevent unintended, rapid repeat pregnancies among adolescents, including those aimed at changing norms to postpone "intended" closely spaced pregnancies to promote healthy spacing.

  9. Interventions for adolescent substance abuse: an overview of systematic reviews

    Many unhealthy behaviors often begin during adolescence and represent major public health challenges. Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities, as its effects are cumulative, contributing to costly social, physical, and mental health problems. The authors conducted an overview of systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. They report findings from a total of 46 systematic reviews focusing on interventions for smoking/tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and combined substance abuse. …

  10. A systematic review of the role of school-based healthcare in adolescent sexual, reproductive, and mental health

    Background: Accessible sexual, reproductive, and mental healthcare services are crucial for adolescent health and wellbeing. It has been reported that school-based healthcare (SBHC) has the potential to improve the availability of services particularly for young people who are normally underserved. Locating health services in schools has the potential to reduce transport costs, increase accessibility and provide links between schools and communities. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was undertaken. …

  11. The Sexual and reproductive health needs of very young adolescents aged 10–14 in developing countries: what does the evidence show?

    This report draws on analyses of national survey data and literature review results to provide an overview of the evidence on key aspects of sexual and reproductive health among very young adolescents aged 10–14 living in developing regions.

  12. Best practices for adolescent- and youth-friendly HIV Services: a compendium of selected projects in PEPFAR-supported countries

    The goal of this compendium is to answer critical questions that move forward USAID’s mission of supporting (a) the adoption of evidence-based practices in adolescent- and youth-friendly HIV care and services to help at-risk adolescents (ages 10–19 years) and youth (ages 15–24 years) stay HIV-free, and (b) the provision of comprehensive packages of HIV prevention, care, treatment, and retention services to adolescents and youth living with HIV in order to promote their successful transition to adulthood.

  13. Strengthening comprehensive sexuality education for young people in school settings in Zambia: a review and documentation of the scale-up process

    This report documents progress on implementation of a Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)-funded UNESCO project that aims to strengthen sexuality education programmes for young people in school settings in Zambia. The project was conceptualized in line with the country’s thematic focus on broader economic and social development and is expected to reach all 9,000 government schools, 1,749,664 learners representing 100% of grades 5 to 12 learners, 40,000 in-service teachers, and 20,000 preservice teachers. …

  14. Review of policies, strategies and laws related to child marriage, adolescent health, education and employment in five countries in West Africa

    Adolescent health and development are key foundations for a country's economic development and political stability. The outcomes of adolescent health are closely linked with future adult development, infant and child mortality, maternal morbidity and mortality, and even long-term economic development.

  15. Early and unintended pregnancy: recommendations for the education sector

    Available evidence supports a clear and compelling role for the education sector in preventing early and unintended pregnancy and ensuring the right to education for pregnant and parenting girls.

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