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Global health anthropology
NRC-NORGLOBAL Research Project 2016-19

SAFEZT

Exploring 'moral worlds' of communities and evaluating policies that shape adolescents' fertility control strategies in Zambia

PhD-project: While strides have been made to increase sexual and reproductive health rights for adolescent men and women, evidence shows that of all the women in the reproductive age group, adolescents are still faced with a greater risk of lacking fertility control and are more susceptible to illegal and unsafe abortion, compared to the other age groups. Adolescent women are more at risk of unsafe abortion since they do not have access to wholesome reproductive health information and services. This age group is shunned and not treated the same way as older women because they are not expected to be engaging in sexual activity at their age.

Despite abortion laws that legalise abortion, they are not very accommodative of all citizens like those in the rural areas; reducing access to safe abortion services in practice. Despite moral and practical barriers in their community, adolescents have to control their fertility and make sexual and reproductive health choices.

This study aims to identify what exactly these adolescents go through when trying to grapple societal influences and their own need for sexual and reproductive health information and services. Hence, this study seeks to contribute to increased access and utilisation of services in order to reduce early pregnancies and the number of unsafe abortions as well as complications associated with both.

Supervisor: Charles Michelo Co-supervisors: Joseph Zulu, Karen Marie Moland and Astrid Blystad

Paper presentations

Margarate Nzala Munakampe (2016) Experiences of adolescents with fertility control and abortion: A systematic review. Paper presented in the topical panel “Understanding adolescents and abortion” at the Africa Regional Conference on Abortion: From Research to Policy, 29 November - 2 December, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.