Improving Family Planning Policies to Ensure Zambian Youth Can Choose Their Future

PRB partnered with Marie Stopes Zambia to create a suite of products aimed at convincing policymakers within Zambia’s Ministry of Health of the need to support young people’s access to contraceptives as outlined in Zambia’s FP2020 Commitment.

  • A fact sheet supports the disaggregation of family planning data to save costs and increase impact in youth family planning.
  • A video seeks clarity on polices regarding the provision of contraceptive services for adolescents who do not have parental consent.

Zambian adolescents face many barriers when they seek contraceptive services, including vague policies around the age of consent for family planning. When providers are left without clear direction from policies and legislation, adolescents who do not have parental consent are often turned away from health clinics and don’t receive the family planning they need.

Give Zambia’s Youth the Right to Choose Their Future

Recent data shows that adolescents are less likely than other age groups to have their demand for family planning met by modern contraceptives, but the inequities within age groups are only revealed through age disaggregation. Under current practices, health facilities summarize data before they enter it into the health information system, leaving policymakers without the insights that disaggregated data would provide. As a result, policymakers are constrained in their ability to effectively design policies and implement programs to address inequities among the adolescent and youth populations.

By taking steps to improve the collection and use of age-disaggregated data in national information systems and clarify policies concerning age of consent, the Government of Zambia can fulfill its FP2020 commitment to address barriers to adequate access to sexual and reproductive services for adolescents and youth. And the Zambian government will be able to invest in more evidence-driven policies and programs that support a bright future for the country’s youth.