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Reaching Adolescents and Youth in Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania

Solène Lardoux, Afiwa N’Bouke

Abstract

Who are the young people reached by peer education programs and/or by youth centers? The present study intends to better know about the activities of the peer educators who are involved in organizations that promote reproductive health information and services in three West African countries. A special research tool was created to collect data to evaluate the composition and characteristics of the populations that such programs reach; therefore, to evaluate the populations left behind. We found that the typical profile of individuals in contact with peer educators or attending youth centers tended to be males aged 15 and more, schooled or highly educated, never married, and living in urban areas. We also found a relationship between peer educators’ and peers’ socio-demographic characteristics in rural Burkina Faso and urban Guinea Bissau. Finally, the main topics discussed included HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections, but omitting other aspects of sexual and reproductive health (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[1]: 73-84).

Résumé                                                   

Quels sont les jeunes que les programmes d’éducation par les pairs et/ou les maisons de jeunes réussissent à atteindre ? La présente étude vise à mieux connaître les activités des pairs éducateurs impliqués dans les organisations qui font la promotion de l’information et des services en santé reproductive dans trois pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Nous avons créé un outil de recherche original qui nous a permis de collecter les données destinées à l’évaluation de la composition et des caractéristiques des populations qui participent à ces programmes, et par déduction de celles des populations qui sont laissées pour compte. Nous trouvons que le profil le plus commun des individus qui sont en contact avec les pairs éducateurs ou qui fréquentent les maisons de jeunes sont des garçons âgés de 15 ans et plus, scolarisés ou de niveau scolaire primaire ou plus, jamais mariés, et résidant en milieu urbain. De plus, nos résultats révèlent l’existence d’une relation entre les caractéristiques socio-démographiques des pairs éducateurs et des jeunes en milieu rural burkinabè et en milieu urbain en Guinée-Bissau. Enfin, les principaux sujets de discussion concernent le VIH/Sida et les maladies sexuellement transmissibles, mais les autres aspects de la santé sexuelle et reproductive sont souvent omis. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[1]: 73-84).

 Keywords: West Africa, peer educators, youth centers, sexual and reproductive health, gender

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