From 2014-2016, hera partner Marta Media was part of a team looking at ways to improve Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) for young people in Sierra Leone. This month the team published an article in the BMC Reproductive Health Journal titled 'Contraception determinants in youths of Sierra Leone are largely behavioral'.
In sub-Saharan West Africa, and particularly in Sierra Leone, maternal, neonatal and under-five-mortality remain high. Family planning and delayed first pregnancy are both key strategies being used to address the situation, however, access and use of both condoms and contraceptives are low.
The research team, including people from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, hera, FOCUS 1000 and UNFPA Sierra Leone used secondary data analysis from a study conducted to monitor the implementation of a UNFPA package of interventions directed to improve Sexual Reproductive Health in young people in Sierra Leone. The aim of the study was to analyze the determinants of condom and/or contraceptive use among a representative sample of young persons (10 to 24 years) in Sierra Leone. The researchers used a population-based survey with 1409 respondents, of those 462 reported being sexually active, and neither pregnant nor wishing to be pregnant. More than 40% used neither condom nor contraception during their last sexual encounter. The researchers noted that the study was conducted in 2016 after the Ebola outbreak and so additional determinants of health were explored and considered. The study provides valuable contextual information for proponents of SRH in Sierra Leone.
Read more about the study and access and download the research paper from the BMC Reproductive Health Journal website site.