Young people face a number of obstacles to obtaining sexual and reproductive health services. These barriers relate to availability and accessibility as well as the quality of the services provided. For example, laws and policies may limit young people’s access to services and contraceptives, and health centres may only address the needs of married women.
Research shows that only a minority of sexually active adolescent women who have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) seek care in a health facility. Compared with older women, adolescents also tend to take longer to recognise their pregnancies and are more likely to have unsafe abortions. Pregnancy and childbirth continue to be a leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15-19.
To address this, HRI is working harder to improve and expand sexual health services that respond to the needs of their young clients in Northern Uganda.