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Growing into adulthood in Malawi: experiences and reactions of adolescents to body changes

Alister Munthali, University of Malawi
Sidon Konyani, Centre for Social Research
Bernie Zakeyo, Centre for Social Research

As boys and girls grow into adults, there is a need for them to be provided with factual information on sexual and reproductive health, including body changes that occur during and around puberty. In many African countries, including Malawi, initiation ceremonies constitute one of the most important sources of information on sexual and reproductive health. However, information on experiences of adolescents to body changes is scarce. Using data from focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and a nationally representative survey with adolescents aged 12-19 conducted in rural and urban Malawi, this paper provides insight into adolescents’ knowledge, experiences and perceptions about body changes, their sources of information about body changes and the usefulness of such information. The results, as documented and discussed in this paper, are important as they can contribute to the better design of information packages that would better address the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 2: Poster Session 2