Noel OUAIMANE est Président National du Mouvement d’Action des Jeunes (MAJ) de l’Association Tchadienne pour le Bien Etre Familial (ASTBEF), structure affiliée à l’IPPF ; point focal IPPF/AR jeunes au Tchad, formateur en santé reproductive des Adolescents et Jeunes et ambassadeur de l’UNFPA en SRAJ. Il est aussi le point focal du Programme de Leadership au sahel. Un réseau actif de leaders émergents, partageant une vision commune de l’avenir du Sahel et engagés en faveur du développement durable. Il croit au potentiel de la PF pour l’amélioration de la santé et de la qualité de vie des femmes et des enfants, condition sine qua non d’un développement durable du Tchad et endogène aux pays du monde. Il est titulaire d’une Licence en Sciences de l’Education à l’université de Ndjamena. IYAFP représente pour moi une opportunité de renforcement de capacités et d’apprentissage avec les jeunes leaders du monde.
Je m'appelle Dieudonné ADJE. Je suis étudiant en communication et en lettres et originaire du Bénin. Je suis un jeune volontaire au service de la santé reproductive des adolescents et des jeunes au programme Amour&Vie au Bénin. Je suis également graphiste et monteur audiovisuel, passionné de l'animation média. Je sais que j'apporterai ma pierre à la vulgarisation du planning familiale dans les contrés les plus reculées de mon pays le Bénin afin d'éviter, pas réduire mais éviter la mortalité infantile et maternelle et réduire la pauvreté.
!Jeune conscient et engagé!
In June 2012 during the landmark London Family Planning Summit, Malawi committed to raise its contraceptive prevalence rate to 60% by 2020 with a focused increase among those aged 15-24 years. The commitment was launched with a theme of no parenthood before adulthood.
Malawi has a rapidly growing youthful population with a total fertility rate (TFR) of 5.5 and an adolescent fertility rate of 137 per 1000 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 (ps- this is high). Adolescents have diverse needs and require integrated comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services in line with their life cycle.
So why Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) for young people?
1- Young people are advocates for reproductive health and choice as community distribution agents, providing information and short acting contraceptives methods to their peers. They serve as a bridge to static facilities and outreach services that provide LARCs to adolescents, initiating change in provider interactions with young people as they influence adaptation of family planning services and counseling that is best suited for adolescents.
2- There’s a high intention to use contraception: sexually active young people (2 % among males and 74.7 % among females) reported a high intention to use contraceptives at next sexual interaction.
3- It will help address Malawi’s high total fertility rate: The 2015/16 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey Key Indicator report shows that use of modern contraceptive methods among married women aged 15-49 years increased from 42% in 2010 to 58% in 2015/16. Yet, adolescent fertility increased 4% between 2010 and 2015.
A 2015 study by Health Policy Project revealed that high teenage pregnancy rates is a key facilitator in addressing Malawi’s high total fertility rate. This suggests that a shift to focusing on adolescents in the national family planning program to raise awareness for acceptability and uptake of LARCs can prevent over 109,000 teenage pregnancies annually resulting in a significant drop in unintended and repeat pregnancies.
4- LARCs are key in managing development and accelerating economic growth: This growth results from a decline in a country’s mortality and fertility rates by changes in the age structure and the increased ratio between a productive labor force and non-productive dependents. Contraceptive choice allows all women of child bearing age especially adolescents to control their spacing needs, as the number of non-productive dependents within the country decreases, and the economy grows, therefore, improves. A delayed pregnancy provides girls a chance, second chances to teen mothers and married adolescents to advance their education aspirations, for families to better invest in the lives of their children and to explore entrepreneurship as they have added income.
“Adolescents’ contraceptive choice should never be compromised. Comprehensive sex education must be part and parcel of approaches aimed at offering timely same day LARC services to young people.”
It can be done
The Costed Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) Strategy 2015-2020 and the YFHS standards (2015) provide a framework for voluntary client-centered approach to the implementation of contraception services. They seek to accelerate access and uptake of LARCs by adolescents through multi-sectoral strategies and collaboration as an integrated program in various sectors such as education, youth and agriculture and gender.
The St. Louis Contraceptive Choice Project, which was a large cohort study, provides strong evidence that comprehensive contraceptive counseling and provision of free wide range short and long acting reversible contraceptives methods to women including adolescents leads them to choose LARCs through informed choice with high 3-year continuation rates. These findings affirm that LARCs are a voluntary cost effective strategy in preventing unintended teenage and repeat rapid pregnancy.
Investing in adolescent reproductive health pays! Why not reap the gains today by expanding access of LARCs for adolescents and make No Parenthood before Adulthood a reality for Malawian adolescents?
Written by: Barwani Msiska
IYAFP Member, Malawi
Family planning, by definition, is deciding the number and spacing of your children through the use of contraception (ex: abstinence, natural planning, or hormonal contraception). Being a basic human right and central to women empowerment, it is an important component of youth health education.
Making family planning youth-friendly will ease its adoption within this generation and bridge gaps in poverty. Amazing techniques have been used in many communities and educating people about their bodies and their sexuality at a young age will help them better understand the concept of family planning.
By increasing awareness in interactive ways, it becomes easier for us youth to reach out for complimentary family planning methods and adhere. To celebrate IYAFP’s 3rd birthday, we encourage everyone not only to make family planning available, but to make it youth-friendly. Members of IYAFP Cameroon have been developing youth friendly approaches to family planning and reproductive health. One thing we distribute is something called the ‘Menstrual Bracelet’. It is distributed for use by girls to learn about their menstrual cycle and how their body works. With the conventional 28 beads for the 28 days and different colours for different phases of the menstrual cycle, they move through the beads each day as they move through their menstrual cycle.
Djemi Njiki Michele
Member, IYAFP Cameroon
Written by Laura Hoemeke, IntraHealth
As I wrote nearly two years ago on VITAL, “family planning” seems to be a misnomer for most young people when it comes to sexual and reproductive health services.
I’d just talked with a passionate, creative troupe of young Ethiopians during an IntraHealth Beat Making Lab partnership in Addis Ababa, and got to see them and other young people from around the world a few months later during the last International Conference on Family Planning in 2013. They made it clear that they weren’t, in fact, planning families. Instead, they were thinking about finishing school, finances, and, in some cases, taking care of their parents or younger siblings.
Jillian Gedeon was one of them.
By Lucien Nzayirata, Rwanda and Jillian Gedeon, Canada
Youth rights count for a brighter, more engaged, future!
A quarter of the world’s population, or 1.8 billion people, are youth. Not only do we lack adequate services related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), but we also make up 40% of the world’s unemployed.
The link between youth civic engagement and family planning is clear: give us access to SRH services so that we can focus on our careers and communities. If we lived in a world where we could access medically accurate information in a non-judgmental way, then chances are we would actually use the information to our benefit. Unfortunately, there are too few options for youth and family planning. As a result, we end up missing out on opportunities such as education and employment and we are under-represented in the workforce. Female youth are an even more vulnerable population: when you combine their upbringing with poverty and other life conditions, their engagement in their own communities is compromised.
By: Jillian Gedeon, Canada. (LMG for Health: USAID)
“As one of the few youth present, I believe I helped contribute a significant youth voice to the conversations surrounding urban health and family planning,” stated Jillian Gedeon, co-founder and executive member of the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP), after attending the International Conference for Urban Health. The Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project, in collaboration with IYAFP, supported Jillian in attending the four-day conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh May 24-27, 2015. In the blog post below, Jillian shares her experiences at the conference and growing knowledge of successful adolescent health programs in Bangladesh.