Adolescent health - MMS Conference - Enfants du Monde Adolescent health - MMS Conference - Enfants du Monde
“Adolescent health is in the hands of adolescents”: discover our presentation at the MMS Conference!

On Tuesday, April 24, Medicus Mundi Suisse (MMS), a professional network which we are a member of, organized a conference on “Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of youth,” bringing together fifty Swiss organizations active in the health field. The theme of the conference? Sexual and reproductive health of young people – a subject that we know well. We had the opportunity to present with our partner SolidarMed, our shared project in Tanzania, financed by the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation.

An approach based on adolescent knowledge and adapted to a local context

Fifty professionals from health, cooperation, and/or humanitarian aid attended the conference in Berne. Our colleagues Dr. Nutsa Chikaidze, gynecologist and health assistant at Enfants du Monde, Dr. Karolin Pfeiffer, in charge of the health program at SolidarMed, and Dr. Walter Milanzi of the University of Dodoma presented interactive and contextualized pedagogy as a new quality approach for sexual health and reproductive education.


Indeed, as the title of the presentation indicates: “Adolescent health is in the hands of adolescents.”

Preventing premature pregnancies and improving the health of youth

In Tanzania, adolescents often lack information regarding questions related to sexuality, contraception, and pregnancy. Sex education is almost nonexistent; only half of adolescents have used a condom during their last relationship* and many youth up to the age of 19 have a child or are pregnant.** Through the bias project we are conducting with SolidarMed in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Health in the region of Ulanga, by engaging adolescents in an interactive, educative process, we aim to improve the knowledge of youth in the areas of health in order to improve their behavior and limit unintended pregnancies, premature births, birth complications, maternal and neonatal mortality… and to guarantee better general health and well being among youth.

Involving youth to change practices

During their talk, our colleagues Nutsa, Karolin, and Walter presented our innovative and educational approach. The idea is to train adolescents so that they can lead sex education sessions for their peers while following principles of quality education. The youth are therefore at the heart of the educational process and the content of the sessions are based on their true lived experiences. Knowledge is linked with scientific information recommended by the World Health Organization and Tanzanian Ministry of Health.

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*Kalolo A, Kibusi SM. The influence of perceived behaviour control, attitude and empowerment on re-ported condom use and intention to use condoms among adolescents in rural Tanzania. Reprod Health. 2015 Nov 13;12:105.
**Teenage childbearing by region, UNFPA Teenage pregnancies factsheet 2018