Reaching girls early in their reproductive life helps them to avoid dangerous teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions and empowers young women to stay in school and strive for brighter futures.
In recent years, Marie Stopes International programmes have noted that, while we have had great success reaching what we thought of as ‘young mothers’, we were not doing as well reaching 15-19 year olds.
While much conversation happens around how to reach them, and how best to serve them, we also know that the complications of unplanned pregnancies - particularly unsafe abortion - is the biggest killer of this age group of girls worldwide.
So we decided to focus on these girls, wherever we were able to do so. Starting in 2016, we began a concerted effort to reach more adolescents who wanted contraception.
Our approach involves focusing and measuring how each of our programmes is doing against a benchmark of reaching adolescents (calculated from government data in the countries where we work), ensuring that our service providers understand the challenges facing young people, and by finding ways to subsidise contraception for them.
Since we started measuring our reach among adolescents in January 2017, we have recorded over one million adolescent clients accessing our services. You can read more of the detail of how we did this in this year's Global Impact Report.