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Youth-friendly Postabortion Care Services in Africa

An estimated 2.5 million unsafe abortions occur among adolescent women each year–98 percent of which take place in developing countries. The proportion of women aged 15-19 years in Africa who have had an unsafe abortion is higher than in any other region of the world, and almost 60 percent of unsafe abortions are among African women under the age of 25. Despite the extraordinary incidence of unsafe abortions among adolescents, few programs directly target young women within their postabortion care (PAC) programs. Therefore, with private resources from the Pathfinding Fund, part of Pathfinder International’s Make a Difference campaign, Pathfinder initiated youth-friendly PAC (YFPAC) services in eight African countries: Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda. The project was implemented June 2007 to May 2008 with the goal of increasing access to PAC services that are responsive to adolescents’ special needs. While outcomes varied among countries, overall program outcomes included:

  • Increased community support for services and activities that prevent unwanted pregnancy and address the issue of unsafe abortion among young women;
  • Availability of YFPAC services in eight African countries;
  • Greater numbers of service providers with the capacity to deliver YFPAC services;
  • Increased numbers of youth PAC clients adopting a contraceptive method to prevent future unintended pregnancies;
  • Documentation and dissemination of evidence-based approaches, tools, and lessons learned for scale-up or replication of YFPAC interventions.

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