Why we do it

Adolescent sexual and reproductive health services (ASRHS)

Adolescent sexual and reproductive health services (ASRHS) aim to increase access to, and quality of, appropriate healthcare for adolescents, and respond to evidence that shows the significant barriers encountered by adolescents in accessing and receiving sexual and reproductive health services. Each of the three study countries has high-level
commitment to the development and provision of YFS, although the rate of roll-out is variable. Systematic research on the implementation of contraception and abortion services for adolescents is absent. The evidence that does exist presents few opportunities for drawing out generalisable understandings across settings.

Unsafe abortion
In all three study countries, the issue of unsafe abortion among adolescents is a policy priority. There is acknowledgement that adolescents represent a group that is at high(er) risk of an unwanted pregnancy, linked to lower levels of access to effective contraceptive services. The team composition, with established and active relationships with policymakers, including Ministries of Health, means that this proposal has been informed and developed with in-country knowledge of what evidence and research is needed in order to improve health systems’ capacity to deliver ASRHS effectively. There is an urgent need to understand how contraception and abortion care services can be provided for, and accessed by, adolescents. We focus on abortion care as one key component of the service provision needed to prevent unwanted adolescent pregnancies, which includes access to contraception, including emergency contraception. The evidence we generate will have relevance for other sub-Saharan African countries with a wide range of legal contexts, and will be able to inform current debates about abortion legality, policy and service change.

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