Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy in Bo District Southern Sierra Leone

Author(s): Rosaline Banya
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Sexual/Reproductive Health
Number of pages:


This project focuses on improving maternal health by reducing the incidence of teenage pregnancy in the Bo district of southern Sierra Leone. The root causes of teenage pregnancies include early and unprotected sexual activity; early marriage; negative cultural perceptions of contraceptive use guided by myths and taboos; no confidence, skills, and knowledge on the part of parents to support their children regarding reproductive health issues; and sexual and gender-based violence. Due to these problems, teenagers face severe and sometimes irreversible health, social, and economic consequences from early pregnancy. Pregnant teenage girls often drop out of school, leaving them mostly dependent on men for economic support and decision making. Early pregnancy can also lead to serious health problems like obstetric fistula or even death. This project is designed to combat these problems through empowering girls and boys from puberty to their teens (9–19) with knowledge regarding reproductive health and access to contraceptive services. Parents and other adult community members will be educated around the norms and taboos of sexual activity in order to support the girls in exercising their reproductive and sexual rights in their communities. By empowering adolescents to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive rights and activating the community in support of that, this project will improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in the Bo district.