Eastern and Southern Africa

Programming for Adolescents and Young People in Eastern and Southern Africa: UNICEF-GFATM partnership

In partnership with the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF has supported the governments of Botswana and Lesotho to implement targeted programmes for adolescent girls and young women. In Lesotho, a national multi-sectoral referral framework is strengthening community-facility linkages and is catalyzing increased access to HIV/SRH services by guiding adolescent and young people to appropriate services and care. In Botswana, a radio drama series together with peer education components is tackling tough issues adolescents are facing in love, life and relationships. Documentation of both experiences are available for download.

Addressing the needs of adolescent and young mothers affected by HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa

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.

New Evidence and Programming Implications for Adolescent Pathways in HIV Care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Adolescents have the lowest rates of retention in HIV care and ART adherence when compared to other age groups. It is essential for programmers to better understand the adolescent HIV care pathways in sub-Saharan Africa, where public HIV services have been decentralised throughout the region. This evidence and programming brief is the first in a new series focusing on programming for adolescents living with HIV developed in collaboration with Oxford University and the University of Cape Town. It provides a summary of evidence from a systematic review of adolescent care pathways in low- and middle-income countries, a longitudinal community-traced cohort of ART-initiated adolescents in South Africa, and qualitative interviews with HIV care providers. The brief additionally highlights key considerations for strengthening programming and services for adolescents living with HIV.