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In Focus: Do Youth-friendly Services Make a Difference?

Reproductive health facilities in the developing world serve fewer adolescents than people in their 20’s and older. While there are usually health services in place to provide married women under 20 with the prenatal and maternity care they need, consideration is rarely given to their age-related, physical, or emotional needs. Also, contraceptive services are often discouraged until after a young married woman has had a first or even a second birth. Health providers are especially reluctant to serve young unmarried people. This reluctance often reflects social attitudes and cultural perceptions that adolescent sexual activity is inappropriate. Yet, as more unmarried young women become pregnant, some new efforts to meet their special need for prenatal and maternity care are being tested and evaluated.

What are the experiences of youth-friendly hospital-based services designed for pregnant teenagers, teenagers giving birth, and teenagers in the postpartum period?

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