Key practice: Adolescent growth and development
Protecting the young generation
Protect children from teenage pregnancy (including abortions) and other risks by supporting and talking to them to delay sexual relations, avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
Why should we focus on adolescent growth and development?
- Giving adolescents, all the relevant information is key as it allows for them to make informed decisions and meaningfully contribute to society/their communities.
- Health workers should counsel adolescents and encourage them to delay sexual relations to avoid unplanned pregnancies which could lead to abortions.
- The family (parent, guardian, siblings, aunties, uncles and the elders) is the foundation of a community and cornerstone of society. As such, the family has the primary role and responsibility in providing their children with appropriate sexuality education. When a parent provides sexuality education to his/her child, it provides an opportunity for the information being taught at school to be reinforced in the family home.
Benefits of prioritising adolescent growth and development
- Interventions during the adolescent phase provides a second window of opportunity to influence developmental paths and make up for poor childhood experiences.
- It will help influence behaviour change interventions for engaging mothers, fathers, boys, girls, communities and other influential actors to transform gender norms and invest in the development and empowerment of adolescent girls.
- Engaging adolescents in decision-making processes allows them to voice their views and help them realise their own agency through accountability mechanisms and active engagement in recovery, peacebuilding and disaster risk reduction in their community.
- It helps improve health-seeking behaviour.
- It helps improve decision-making.
- It supports better emotions and stress coping mechanisms.
- It builds effective negotiation and goal-setting skills.
Child marriage and teenage pregnancies in Uganda
A lost childhood
If parents/caregivers don't support adolescent girls and boys, this can lead to:
- Increased School dropout rates.
- Increase in teenage pregnancies and child birth related complications
- Failure to achieve their goals and aspiration.