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


Submitted: 13 October 2012
Accepted: 1 June 2013
Published: 15 October 2013
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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.

Kudakwashe Dube, Thamassat University, Faculty of Public Health
MPH (Global Health) candidate
Marc Van der Putten, Thamassat University, Faculty of Public Health

Assoc. Prof.

Nitaya Vajanapoom, Thamassat University, Faculty of Public Health
Assoc. Prof.
Dube, K., Van der Putten, M., & Vajanapoom, N. (2013). Adolescent health, global guidelines versus local realities: the Sub-Saharan Africa experience. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 4(2), e12. https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2013.e12

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