National strategy for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy and child marriage 2018 - 2022

No. of pages: 36

Publication date: 2018

Author: Multi-agency

Publisher: UNFPA Sierra Leone

Adolescent pregnancy and child marriage in Sierra Leone pose a dire threat to girls, preventing them from realising their full potential in all aspects of their development. Despite the government’s efforts to tackle these issues, particularly through the establishment of a National Secretariat for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy in May 2013 and the development of the National Strategy for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy (2013-2015), signifcant work needs to be done. Progress was hampered by the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in 2014, which had an adverse impact on the implementation of the strategy, and directly impacted on the education of adolescent girls as a result of school closure. Furthermore, utilisation of health facilities by adolescents, especially for seeking services related to sexual and reproductive health, remains low.

Adolescent pregnancy and child marriage are inextricably linked. In many cases, child marriage is a driver of early pregnancy; in other cases, marriage follows a girl’s often unwanted pregnancy. Signifcant efforts are also underway to address adolescent pregnancy and child marriage in Sierra Leone.

The National Strategy for the Reduction of Adolescent Pregnancy and Child Marriage (2018-2022) was developed to guide the prioritisation of all evidence-based adolescent pregnancy and child marriage reduction interventions in the country during this period.