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Adolescent health, global guidelines versus local realities: the Sub-Saharan Africa experience

Kudakwashe Dube, Marc Van der Putten, Nitaya Vajanapoom
  • Kudakwashe Dube
    Thamassat University, Faculty of Public Health, Thailand | mkudadube@gmail.com
  • Marc Van der Putten
    Thamassat University, Faculty of Public Health, Thailand
  • Nitaya Vajanapoom
    Thamassat University, Faculty of Public Health, Thailand

Abstract

As the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) evolves, further discussion and documentation of national policy and aspects of its implementation is needed to ensure effectiveness of interventions. Further research is required to foster beneficial shifts in policy advocacy, including resource allocation, and in the prioritization of adolescent programs in health and education systems, in communities and in workplaces. Adolescents are exposed to diverse interventions across all the countries under discussion; however there exist obstacles to realization of ASRH goals. In some countries, there exist a conflict of interest between national laws and global policy guidelines on ASRH; moreover national laws and policies are ambiguous and inconsistent. In addition, there have been strong negligence of vulnerable groups such as HIV positive adolescents, pregnant street youth; young sex workers; orphans; adolescents in conflict areas; adolescent refugees; adolescent girls working in the informal sectors and very young adolescents, likewise many adolescents in rural areas remain largely underserved. Furthermore there are consistently less disaggregated data available on adolescents’ key indicators for comparative purposes signifying considerable knowledge gaps. There are multiple obstacles to the realization of ASRH and need for research combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches to determine the extent to which factors are either conducive or impeding to consistency between global guidelines, national ASRH policies, and actual policy implementation.

Keywords

adolescents sexual reproductive health, global guidelines, national policy, Sub- Saharan Africa.

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Submitted: 2012-10-13 18:41:57
Published: 2013-10-15 14:48:25
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Copyright (c) 2013 Kudakwashe Dube, Marc Van der Putten, Nitaya Vajanapoom

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