International Handbook of Adolescent Pregnancy

Type Book
Title International Handbook of Adolescent Pregnancy
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Publisher Springer
The authors are staff members of the World Health Organization. The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this chapter and they do not necessarily represent the decisions or policies of the World Health Organization. Addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs and problems of adolescents is a crucial element of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Reproductive Health Strategy. In many parts of the world, the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents are either poorly understood or not fully appreciated. Evidence is growing that this neglect can seriously jeopardize the health and future well-being of young people. Sexual activity during adolescence (within or outside marriage) puts adolescents at risk of sexual and reproductive health problems if they do not have access to the needed information, education and services. These problems include early pregnancy (intended or otherwise), unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and sexual coercion and violence. In addition, in some cultures, girls face genital mutilation and its consequences. This chapter looks at the sexual and reproductive health issues related to adolescent pregnancy from the point of view of the continuum of care. The continuum of care is an approach promoted by WHO and in the context of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH). This continuum of care includes integrated service delivery from pre-pregnancy to delivery, the immediate postnatal period, and childhood. In the context of adolescent pregnancy, the continuum of care means that provisions should be made to ensure access and quality services before the pregnancy (such as interventions to improve nutritional status and health to reduce the likelihood of health problems in the mother and baby), during the pregnancy (antenatal, intra- and immediate postnatal care, as well as safe abortion and post-abortion care), and after the delivery to ensure proper care for the adolescent mother and her baby. The care for pregnant adolescents, thus, is a joint responsibility of families, communities, health sector as well as other sectors. It is a person-centered care that involves adolescents in its design, planning, and monitoring and understands holistically their physical, emotional, and social concerns.

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