IYWG Will Provide Daily Coverage of Youth at ICFP

This post originally appeared on IYWG’s blog here. Reposted with permission.

By Kate Plourde, IYWG

A focus on youth and youth participation will be a cornerstone of this year’s International Conference on Family Planning and we are thrilled to announce that we will be bringing you daily coverage!

One in four people in the world are between the ages of 10 and 25, making up the largest population of youth in history. Healthy and empowered young people have the potential to be change agents in their community. However, many youth around the world face a multitude of sexual and reproductive health challenges including high rates of unintended pregnancy and maternal mortality.

Approximately 16 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year and, in developing countries, approximately one-third of adolescent girls give birth before their 20th birthday. An unintended pregnancy can be a difficult experience for any woman and can be especially upsetting for an unmarried adolescent. Adolescent pregnancy can be life-threatening. Childbirth-related complications are the number one cause of death among girls ages 15-19. Pregnancy during adolescence also increases the risk of anemia, postpartum hemorrhage, prolonged obstructed labor, obstetric fistula, malnutrition, and mental health disorders, including depression.

Unintended pregnancy and adolescent maternal mortality are preventable, yet in some regions of the world the unmet contraceptive need among adolescents is as high as 68 percent. This lack of access to family planning services leads to approximately 7.4 million unintended adolescent pregnancies each year.

The focus on youth at this year’s ICFP could not be more timely and we are your go-to source for all things youth at ICFP. Stay tuned for guest blog posts written by youth delegates and youth sexual and reproductive health advocates as well as daily summaries of trending social media coverage. Don’t forget to follow FHI 360 Live for full coverage of ICFP 2013.