Scale-up of Adolescent Contraceptive Services: Lessons From a 5-Country Comparative Analysis

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Poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes among adolescents aged 10–19 years are indicative of the barriers this group faces in accessing health services and highlights a gap in the availability of appropriate services, including adolescent-friendly contraceptive services (AFCS). The HIV Investment Framework identifies contraceptive services as an entry point for HIV counseling, testing, and treatment, and as a component of HIV prevention. To effectively meet the needs of adolescents, greater understanding of effective scale-up strategies for adolescent-friendly services is needed.


The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of AFCS scale-up experiences in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Vietnam using the ExpandNet/World Health Organization framework for systematic scale-up. The authors analyzed the type of scale (expansion or institutionalization), dissemination and advocacy, organizational process, costs and resource mobilization, and monitoring and evaluation.


The analysis showed that all programs simultaneously pursued expansion and institutionalization, contributing to sustainable scale-up. Advocacy complemented by intensive capacity building at all levels of the health system contributed to adoption of AFCS in national and district work plans and budgets as well strengthening collection of age-disaggregated data.


To achieve scale-up of AFCS, the authors identified the importance of institutionalization and expansion in tandem for synergy and reinforcement, empowering adolescents to be agents of change and hold government accountable to its commitments, and strengthening health systems to sustain AFCS.


This article contributes to a growing body of evidence around scale-up of AFCS, which can inform the implementation and sustainable scale-up of HIV and other services for adolescents.

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