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Their Futures: Supporting adolescents with choice

Tomorrow’s world will be shaped by the young people of today. With reproductive choice, we can help them pursue their futures.

Young people deserve choice

From societal stigma that can lead to misconceptions on their sexual health and rights, to laws and policies that require parental consent, young people have poorer access to reproductive choice. Compared to all women of reproductive age, girls and young women aged 15-19 are twice as likely to lack access to contraception. 

These barriers to choice have real consequences. Pregnancy can be dangerous for adolescents and sadly, complications during pregnancy and childbirth continue to be the leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15-19 globally. 

Closing the gap

Naomi is a 19-year-old mother of three living in a remote village in Taraba State, Nigeria, who opted for a contraceptive implant with our MSI team.
“If you hadn’t have come, I wouldn’t have known what to do. Before now, I didn’t know anything about family planning,” Naomi shared. “We wouldn’t have gotten access to these contraceptives."
“If you hadn’t have come, we wouldn’t have gotten access to these contraceptives. I feel good about my body. I am happy.”
- Naomi, 19, MSI Nigeria contraceptive client

Supporting 1.7 million futures

At MSI, we are committed to transforming access for adolescents. So, in 2017, we launched a tailored adolescent strategy, focused on dismantling the barriers that young people face.

By building awareness of the health and rights of young people, setting up adolescent-friendly services, changing the laws that can prevent access, and training providers to deliver tailored care, we believe we can transform choice for the next generation. 

And we’re already making an impact. In 2021, we supported over 1.7 million adolescents to access reproductive choice, supporting girls like Aisha (pseudonym), a student in Senegal, to pursue her own future.  

Aisha first encountered MSI when our teams visited her school.

"At school we often see girls who fall pregnant and usually don't come back. My service with MSI really helped me, because I could have stopped my studies," Aisha told us.

“I am now in my final class. It’s thanks to MSI that I’ve been able to finish my studies.” 

Learn more
“I am now in my final class. It’s thanks to MSI that I’ve been able to finish my studies.”
- Aisha, 19, MSI Senegal contraceptive client

Delivering adolescent-friendly care

Our teams take sexual and reproductive healthcare directly to young people.

For example, in Zambia, MSI’s mobile clinic caravans travel directly into communities to provide adolescent-friendly care. 

In 2021, Maureen, an 18-year-old student in Zambia accessed an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) following a consultation with an MSI provider.   

Maureen told us that accessing information and services in the caravan “was much easier, as there were other young people there that were a similar age, and the staff were welcoming and friendly.” 

Young people have big dreams. With the help of contraception, we can achieve them.
18-year-old client, Zambia

For a gender-equal world, women and girls need choice

Analysis from MSI Reproductive Choices found that if adolescents had access to the information and services they need to make informed reproductive choices, millions more girls would remain in school every year. 

Together, we can transform access to reproductive healthcare for young people. With adolescent-friendly services, we can support young people with their bodily autonomy, and the information they need to understand their bodies, have safe relationships, avoid unintended pregnancy and determine their own futures.

Every year, in sub-Saharan Africa, up to 4 million girls drop out of school or are excluded due to unintended pregnancy.

MSI's commitment to young people

There is a long way to go until all young people, everywhere can access the sexual and reproductive healthcare they need. 

That’s why, at the core of our MSI 2030 strategy is our commitment to reaching adolescents, because we know just how transformational the benefits can be.

In the words of Maureen, an adolescent client with MSI Zambia, “Young people have big dreams. With the help of contraception, we can achieve them.” 

More on MSI's adolescent work

We’re working towards a world where everyone can access reproductive choice. Keep reading for more information on our adolescent work and how you can help.

The path to gender equality

The path to a gender equal world begins with reproductive choice. At MSI, we're working towards a world where all women and girls have the reproductive choice to pursue their own futures.

Support gender equality

4 million girls in school

Analysis from MSI Reproductive Choices shows that increasing adolescent access to reproductive choice could support up to four million more girls to stay in school every year and determine the path their life takes.

Find out how

Blog: Gender equality begins with choice

Esi Asare Prah, Advocacy and Donor Relations Manager at MSI Reproductive Choices Ghana, shares how choice would help us achieve gender equality in Ghana (and globally).

Read Esi's blog

Donate to make choice possible

It only costs £6 per year – or 2 pence per day – for MSI to provide someone with life-changing reproductive healthcare, giving them the power to decide if or when to become pregnant.

Make choice possible.

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