Botswana has just over 2 million people and 35% of them are under the age of 15. Meeting the need for modern contraceptives for adolescents and young people is critical to achieving their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
SAT, working with young people in the Youth Hub, increased access to SRHR services through the TeenWyze platform. The programme showed that with adequate promotion of modern contraceptives and sexual and reproductive health services, uptake of services can be dramatically increased. Last year, SAT Botswana, with very limited resources, increased demand for modern contraceptives for 11,245 young people aged 15–24 years through TeenWyze. The programme also shifted the dominance of the male condom as the most sort after contraceptives for adolescent girls and young women to more female-oriented contraceptives such as the Intra Uterine Device (IUD), and contraceptive pill.
But increasing demand has run into government inability to supply. Of the 11,245 who sought access to modern contraception, only 3,200 were helped in facilities. Urgent action by the Government of Botswana, UN agencies, civil society, and key development partners is needed to ensure that increased demand by young people is met with adequate supply.
“With the capacity building provided by SAT, I have been identified as an advocate to sit on the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund as one of the three youth representatives. I am also a Her Voice Fund Ambassador in Botswana which aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women. In order to adequately address the needs of adolescent girls and young women, their thoughts, ideas and concerns must be central to policymaking, and the design and implementation of HIV programmes.”Millicent Sethaile, Botswana