In Nigeria, the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS, 2013) shows that 43.5% of 15-19 years old girls have had sex and that the median age of sexual debut is 16 years. This demonstrates a need for trained, youth-friendly providers that can provide individualized counselling on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) to adolescent girls.
Qualitative research shows that many adults in Nigeria believe that teaching adolescent girls about contraception encourages promiscuity. This belief fuels girls’ fears around contraception and increases stigma for girls when they try to access SRH services. In many cases, adolescent girls are afraid of accessing contraception and providers do not want to serve girls. As a result, these services become inaccessible to them.
Adolescents 360 (A360) is a four-and-a-half-year long project, funded by BMGF and CIFF, that revolutionizes the way adolescent girls 15-19 years access contraceptives. In Nigeria, 9ja Girls was designed using a transdisciplinary approach including public health, HCD, social marketing, development neuroscience, and social-cultural anthropology. The result is an integrated system that offers girls access to safe spaces where they can say what is on their minds, get answers to the questions they have from people they trust, receive skills training, and access SRH services.