Adolescent and young mothers are a priority population for UNICEF in Eastern and Southern Africa, including those who are affected by HIV. In this region, one in four women aged 20-24 years gives birth before the age of 18 years and 30 per cent of all new HIV infections occur among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years. Studies increasingly show poorer maternal, child and HIV outcomes for this age group as compared to older women. Together with governments and partners, UNICEF has been working to promote differentiated, evidence-based approaches to meet the complex needs of adolescent and young mothers in several countries across the region.
This newly released report describes these efforts in nine countries, highlighting the results achieved and the learning. Key insights include the importance of responsive service delivery and social support as well as working across sectors. Also offered are ways in which policy makers, researchers, programme managers and implementers can strengthen HIV and health services for adolescent and young mothers and their children.