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The Road Ahead for Young People and Contraception in West Africa

Analysis Lou Compernolle

Youth Access in West Africa

Around the world, 16 million young girls between 15 and 19 give birth every year. Ninety-five percent of these births occur in low- and middle-income countries. In West Africa, the reproductive health indicators are alarming. The region leads with the lowest contraceptive prevalence rate at 13%, the highest unmet need at 28%, the highest total fertility rate at 5.5 children per woman, and the highest neonatal and infant mortality rates. West Africa also has the highest proportion of adolescents on the planet and it is young girls who face a particularly high morbidity and mortality burden.

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