Effective Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Education Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa
Background: The objective of this review was to explore and identify feasible, socially acceptable and effective adolescent sexual and reproductive health education (ASRHE) programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: Four databases were searched to identify studies conducted within the past 15 years which evaluate the effectiveness of ASRHE programs in sub-Saharan Africa. The databases searched were Embase, Medline, CINAHL, PyscINFO. A further search for relevant articles was made in the Google scholar website. The title and abstract of each article were analyzed for relevance by applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Further scrutiny and extraction of the studies was completed by selecting only those studies which met the criteria for inclusion. Results: Fifteen studies were identified. School, peer, mass media, health facility and community based ASRHE programs showed positive impact in one or more of the following outcomes in adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: ( i) knowledge of HIV transmission; (ii) perceived personal risk of contracting HIV/ AIDS; (iii) self-efficacy to negotiate condom use; (iv) discussion with others about HIV/AIDS or condom use; (v) abstinence from sexual relations; (vi) reduction in high-risk sexual behavior; (vii) condom use (vii) testing for sexually transmitted infection (STI) and (viii) treatment seeking behavior. Conclusion: ASRHE programs of diverse forms can produce positive change in adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). There is need for rigorous research to assess long term behavioral effects of culturally tailored comprehensive ASRHE programs in sub-Saharan Africa.