In over 69 countries, the unmet family planning need for adolescents is nearly 2.5 times higher than the unmet need for adults; and in some countries of sub-Saharan Africa, more than half of adolescent women want to delay their next pregnancy. Now, more than ever, countries must build political will and enthusiasm to achieve broad and equitable access to reproductive health services for all women and men, including adolescents.
Today, the Aspen Institute announces the winners of the 2014 Resolve Award, which recognizes countries that are surmounting various challenges to bring essential reproductive health services to their people, especially aimed at reaching adolescents. Two countries—Tanzania and Peru, with special mentions given to Afghanistan and Cambodia —will receive the Resolve Award to celebrate the exceptional progress they have made in prioritizing family planning and reproductive health needs, including those of adolescents.
On 20 May 2014, Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health (GLC) member Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro will present the Resolve Award to representatives of each country at a ceremony during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
The recipient of the 2014 Resolve Award in Service Delivery, Tanzania stood out for its breakthrough approaches to reaching adolescents, isolated communities, and other vulnerable populations through targeted outreach and community mobilization. Responding to the specific needs of adolescent girls, Restless Development is transforming its successful peer volunteer program on sexual and reproductive health and rights to a girl-led program. Engender Health created outreach teams composed of a surgeon, IUD provider, and a family planning counselor to reach rural communities with low and medium uptake of family planning in 30 regions. By focusing on more intensive awareness raising and partnership with community leaders in the communities with the least access, they’ve seen a 79% increase in use of long-acting reversible contraceptives in districts with the lowest uptake of family planning.
Peru demonstrated high-level commitment to preventing high rates of adolescent pregnancy through the development of a cross-sectoral policy that addresses socio-economic barriers to reproductive health information among vulnerable populations. The Ministry of Health is bringing together government ministries, NGOs, community leaders, and other stakeholders to drive change at the national level.
The GLC also acknowledged the excellent work of Cambodia and Afghanistan through special mentions. Cambodia’s rapid reduction in maternal mortality and impressive growth in contraceptive prevalence rate is a testament to its success in increasing access to skilled birth attendants and essential services at health facilities across the country. The strong leadership and bold family planning policies shown by the Ministry of Health have allowed Afghanistan to begin to tackle its high maternal mortality rates and reproductive health challenges.
The Resolve Award was launched in 2011 by Regina Benjamin, former U.S. Surgeon General and member of the GLC, to recognize country-led innovations that result in increased access to family planning and reproductive health. In 2012, the first annual Resolve Award was presented to delegates from Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Nepal with a special mention to Yemen, and in 2013 the Resolve Award was presented to delegates from Kenya, the Gambia and Zambia, with a special mention to Sierra Leone. To apply for the 2015 Resolve Award, please visit www.resolveaward.org in August 2014.
Join us in congratulating the leaders of these countries by tuning in to our webcast on 20 May at www.aspeninstitute.org/live, and participate via Twitter by following @GLCRHresolve and #Resolve.