Helpdesk Report: Adolescent Reproductive Health in Ethiopia



A review of international evidence on approaches and models to improve the reproductive health of adolescent girls, primarily focusing on Ethiopia.


Ethiopia is unusual within the region in having very low levels of sex before marriage. According to the 2005 DHS well over 90% of single women are virgins. Ensuring the health of adolescent girls is vital to the nation. Ethiopia has made progress in improving youth's health; yet, young women still suffer high rates of maternal injury and death due to childbirth without skilled assistance and unsafe abortion. Persistent gender inequalities and traditional harmful practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, contribute to these significant health challenges.

A reproductive health approach recognises that the foundations of women's health are laid in childhood and adolescence, and are influenced by factors such as nutrition, education, sexual roles and social status, cultural practices, and the socioeconomic environment. Reproductive health care strategies to meet women's multiple needs include education for responsible and healthy sexuality, safe and appropriate contraception, and services for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, delivery, and abortion. This report includes sections on the key components of reproductive health.


Holley, C. Helpdesk Report: Adolescent Reproductive Health in Ethiopia. Human Development Resource Centre, UK (2011) 21 pp.

Helpdesk Report: Adolescent Reproductive Health in Ethiopia

Published 1 January 2011