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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a review of country experiences in sub-Saharan Africa

    In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), early and unintended pregnancy leads to a colossal loss of educational opportunities for girls: A high proportion of pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15-19 years in the region are unintended, and nearly all adolescent girls who have ever been pregnant are out of school in most SSA countries. Existing studies that show associations between early/unintended pregnancy and school dropout lead to critical questions about how the education sector is responding to the issue in SSA. …

  3. Experiences of pregnant adolescents - voices from Wakiso district, Uganda

    Background: In Uganda, morbidity and mortality among adolescent mothers and their children are high. Social factors behind this problem need to be better understood. Objective: To explore problems that pregnant adolescents face in order to design appropriate policies and interventions. Methods: This was a descriptive study that utilized qualitative methods for data collection. The study population comprised of pregnant adolescents, adolescent mothers, opinion leaders, In-charge of health unit, and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Wakiso district, Uganda. …

  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. 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.

  6. 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. …

  7. Protecting the next generation in sub-saharan Africa: learning from adolescents to prevent HIV and unintended pregnancy

    This report presents key findings from nationally representative surveys conducted in 2004 among 12-19-year-olds in four African countries-Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda-with the goal of guiding programs, policies and investments aimed at improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health. It is based on research conducted as part of a multiyear project, called Protecting the Next Generation: Understanding HIV Risk Among Youth. …

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