Reproductive Health and Family Planning Youth Ambassadors of Mali | President
The Reproductive Health and Family Planning Youth Ambassadors are a group of dedicated and engaged youth advocates who educate, counsel, and motivate our peers to adopt healthy sexual behaviors. Photo by Moctar Diallo courtesy of IntraHealth International.
In Mali, young girls face the prospect of unwanted or adolescent pregnancies that can lead to unsafe abortions and other health risks. The most recent Demographic Health Survey indicated that early pregnancy increases the risk of death among adolescents. Further, pregnancy considerably reduces a young woman’s chances of continuing her studies and puts her at risk of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS. In fact, young women are three times as likely as young men to become infected with HIV.
New family planning products give advocates something to be excited about. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki
It’s an interesting time to be a family planning advocate. In many FP2020 countries, we’re making real strides in increasing access to contraception—due in part to the emergence of new methods, from novel female condoms, to implants, to injectables. Maintaining and advancing funding commitments and supportive policies will be even more important as we work to continue hard-won progress.
Girls and women faced a horrendous situation in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in western Uganda. I had only two choices to react to their poignant situation: Weep with them and we all become miserable, or take up their case and work to see something done.