Thirty-six percent of Zambia’s 9 million inhabitants are between 10 and 19 years of age, and most adolescents are sexually active by their mid-teens. Pregnant teenagers have an elevated risk of maternal mortality and complications related to birth. In 1990, at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital, self-induced abortion accounted for up to 30 percent of maternal mortality, and one-quarter of these deaths occurred in women under 18 years. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major health problem for adolescents, yet only a small proportion protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs. There are many barriers to improving the situation, including opposition by parents and teachers to the use of modern contraceptive methods. CARE Zambia is conducting a study to test community-based strategies that increase knowledge of, demand for, and use of barrier methods to reduce unprotected intercourse among out-of-school adolescents in peri-urban Lusaka. As noted in this report, adolescent behavior change will be measured as the prevalence of barrier method use, number of sexual partners, FP attitudes, and measures of self-esteem and responsibility among participants.
Fetters, Tamara, Evans Mupela, and Naomi Rutenberg. 1998. "Youth talk about sexuality: A participatory assessment of adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Lusaka, Zambia." Population Council and CARE Zambia.
Africa OR/TA Project II