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Addressing Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Niger

Listed author(s):
  • Helene Barroy
  • Rafael A. Cortez
  • Nora Le Jean
  • Hui Wang

The aim of the study is to better understand adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs in order to inform the design of interventions and policies that improve access to and use of adolescent SRH services in Niger. A mixed-methods study was conducted and included: (i) a quantitative analysis of Niger’s Demographic Health Survey/Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (DHS/MICS) 2012; (ii) 17 focus group discussions conducted in urban and rural areas among 128 adolescents; and (iii) a set of recommendations to improve access to and use of SRH services for adolescents in the country. The study found that age at first marriage among adolescent females is 15.7 years and is followed soon thereafter by sexual debut (15.9 years). According to focus group discussions (FGDs), adolescent’s boys and girls start spending time together at 12 years in urban areas and 10 years in rural areas; this may lead to sexual intercourse in exchange for material and financial resources. Over 70 percent of adolescents have given birth by 18 years of age. Although knowledge about modern contraception is high (73 percent among female adolescents 15-19 years of age), the majority of adolescent girls do not use contraception due to societal and cultural beliefs. Moreover, FGDs reveal that the main barriers to use of SRH services is a lack of privacy and confidentiality, as well as finances, despite the government’s elimination of user fees. The government has increased supply side interventions for adolescents and prioritized adolescents on the national agenda by approving the Family Planning Action Plan (2012-2020) and the National Plan for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (2011), however these plans need to be monitored and evaluated to determine their effectiveness in reaching this population group. There is also a need to increase multi-sectoral demand-side interventions in the country.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Discussion Paper Series with number 104964.

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Length: pages 54 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2016
Handle: RePEc:wbk:hnpdps:104964
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