The Implementation and effectiveness of sexuality education programs in schools in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Case Studies & Research
84 p.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) youth (aged 10-24), consisting of 31% of the country’s population, presents a powerful opportunity for accelerated economic growth and innovation. However, as in many sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, young people in DRC generally face several sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, such as high rates of early childbearing and marriage for girls, early sexual debut, lack of comprehensive contraceptive knowledge, and multiple concurrent sexual partnerships, among others. In 2013, 17% of adolescent boys aged 15-19 years and 7% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 years had had at least two sexual partners. A 2015 study in Kinshasa also showed that 67% of young persons aged 14-19 (76% boys, 60% girls) were sexually active. About 33% of these young people reported symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past year. Only 34% of sexually active adolescents (30% girls, 39% boys) reported current use of modern contraception while 50% percent of sexually active girls reported at least one pregnancy and 30% reported at least one abortion. DRC schools have been implementing standalone, school-based sexuality education courses to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among youth and adolescents since 1970. This study aims to describe the implementation of these programs in Kinshasa. It also identifies differences in outcomes between the national sexuality education curriculum and other existing curricula.