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Jun 3, 2019

Women Deliver 2019 Conference

Challenges and preferences for Adolescent Girls in Malawi in Contraceptive Use and Access






Theme: Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Title: Exploring preferences, challenges and barriers to contraceptive access and use for adolescents in Malawi Lack of access and use of contraceptives by adolescent girls in Malawi significantly limits their power and impacts their health and well-being. The percentage of adolescent girls aged 15-19 years who have begun childbearing in Malawi was estimated at 29% in the 2015-2016 DHS. 22 percent of married women—and 52 percent of unmarried, sexually active women—ages 15–19 were reported to have an unmet need for family planning . Adolescent researchers (18-24) and VillageReach staff undertook a youth focused qualitative research project to further explore the unique experiences, preferences and challenges that adolescent girls and boys face in accessing or using contraceptives in the country. The one year study targeted married and unmarried adolescents (15-19) from rural and urban areas in Malawi; primarily working in 3 districts, each representing one of the 3 major regions of Malawi . The Adolescent researchers took a central role in administering the multiple data collection approaches used: Arts based focus group discussions, WhatsApp Focus Group Discussions and Human Centered Design workshops. Atlas Ti was used for data analysis. Approximately 503 adolescents were engaged in the study. Significant challenges and barriers included: Traditional beliefs and a lack of privacy in public hospitals. For adolescent girls in particular, side effects from contraceptive use, shyness, fear of being judged by community members (including family members and friends) and partner refusal were prominent barriers to contraceptive access. Results further showed the preference for options with little to no side effects, options that could be used discreetly and the need for more male options as a call for more equity to the responsibility of using contraceptives. Partnering with adolescent researchers enhanced the engagement with study participants and enhanced their capacity in advocating for younger girls. If we want to ensure equality for girls, we must advocate for: Privacy in public hospitals/clinics, the role of boys in supporting the use of contraceptives and further engagement with people living within their communities on the relevance of adolescents accessing or using contraceptives to mitigate the existing stereotypes and build a supportive environment. (342)

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© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.