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Meeting the need: youth and family planning in sub-Saharan Africa

Ndola Prata, University of California, Berkeley
Karen Weidert, University of California, Berkeley

Forty-one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) 42 countries have youthful age structures — median age less than or equal to 25 years. Trends indicate that increasingly more youth in SSA are delaying marriage and engaging in premarital sexual relationships. Yet family planning programs in SSA have not been given the necessary emphasis in the last decade. This paper illustrates the need for a concerted effort to address the gaps in family planning services for youth in SSA. To do this, we describe trends in youth fertility and child-bearing, unmet need for family planning options, and contraceptive prevalence among youth in SSA by assessing trends in six African countries with four consecutive Demographic and Health Surveys. We then provide estimates of exposure to the risk of pregnancy and need for contraception among youth, as well as estimates of new contraceptives users necessary to maintain and double contraceptive prevalence among youth in 2015.

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Presented in Session 12: SRH needs for teens, women, and men