The evaluation of the impact of adolescent sexual and reproductive health interventions conducted under the Mema kwa Vijana Programme on adolescents' knowledge, reported attitudes and reported behaviours, and on biomedical outcomes, including HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pregnancy rates is described.
The MEMA kwa Vijana trial showed that a local African NGO and existing government health and education staff can successfully implement an intensive, innovative adolescent sexual health programme on a large scale. The trial also showed that this intervention caused substantial improvements in knowledge, reported attitudes, and some reported sexual risk behaviours in the short- to medium-term. Significant benefits in knowledge were still present after 8 years of intervention implementation, among a group of young people who had, on average, last had exposure to the in-school intervention 5.4 years prior to the survey.
In rural Tanzania this carefully designed, implemented and monitored intervention did not result in any significant impact on HIV or genital herpes (HSV-2) among the young people exposed to the intervention, either after 3 years or after 8 years of implementation.
The implications for further research and policy are considered.
Anon. Long-term Evaluation of the MEMA kwa Vijana Adolescent Sexual Health Programme in Rural Mwanza, Tanzania: a Randomised Controlled Trial. Mema kwa Vijana Technical BriefingPaper: No. 7. (2008) 8 pp.