In Africa, as in many parts of the world, adolescent reproductive health is a controversial issue for policy makers and programme planners. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to HIV and AIDS and to a host of other problems such as sexually transmitted infection, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortions, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and unsafe circumcision. Yet many countries don't have adolescent health policies and much remains to be done to ensure that adolescents can access appropriate sexual and reproductive health services. Articulating new perspectives and strategies to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health, the authors of this volume comprise a network of researchers working in east and southern Africa. They make a unique attempt to bring together the social and biomedical sciences and to disseminate concrete empirical evidence from existing programmes, carefully analysing what works and what doesn't at the local level. The chapters are built on the premise that sexual and reproductive health behaviour is multifaceted and that interventions must operate on several levels - individual, organisational and governmental - and must reach young people in schools, communities, workplaces, and health-care institutions. Cognisant of recent research and the ethical difficulties facing researchers, the authors provide practical guidance for practitioners and policymakers wishing to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health at the policy and institutional levels and in local communities.
Human Sciences Research Council, HSRC
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