Supporting adolescents with reproductive choice

For a more equal world, girls and young women need sexual and reproductive healthcare, including contraception. The ability to make safe and informed reproductive choices could help millions more girls stay in school every year and determine the path their lives take.

Adolescents face barriers to choice

Despite the benefits of access to reproductive choice, young people are often not given the information and services they need. Social norms, a lack of access to accurate information, and long journeys to healthcare centers can make accessing reproductive choice more difficult for young people. In fact, girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to lack access to contraception compared to all women of reproductive age.

Sibeso Walumino, an MSI provider, informs Maureen, an 18-year-old student, about the contraceptive options available to her at a mobile health clinic in Zambia.

At MSI, we are committed to dismantling the unique barriers that young people face when seeking reproductive healthcare. In 2021, our tailored youth programs provided 1.7 million adolescents with contraceptive choice. This enabled girls like Maureen, a student in Zambia, to pursue their own futures.

Tailored programs for adolescents

MSI Zambia’s mobile clinic caravans travel directly into communities to provide adolescent-friendly services. In 2021, MSI fitted Maureen with an intra-uterine device (IUD) following a consultation with one of our providers. She told us that getting information and services in the caravan “was much easier. There were other young people there who were a similar age, and the staff were welcoming and friendly.”

Maureen stands in front of an MSI mobile health caravan.

We have a long way to go until all young people can access the reproductive healthcare services they need. But at the center of MSI’s mission is a commitment to expanding availability, because we know how transformational the benefits can be. In Maureen’s words: “Young people have big dreams. With the help of contraception, they can achieve their goals.”

Click here to read our full 2021 Year in Review!

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