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Sexuality is a fundamental aspect of being human, and sexual activity is a basic part of human development for young people in the United States.
To combat this, the organisation has launched an innovative, interactive game app for boys and girls which provides reliable information on sexual health as well as how to stay safe from the coronavirus.
For some, this information could be lifesaving. Pregnancy complications are one killer of girls in Sierra Leone, ing for a quarter of all deaths of girls age  and the teenage pregnancy rate is already one of the highest in the world . In West Africa babies born to mothers under the age of 16 are twice as likely to die during the first month of their life.
During the Ebola outbreak teenage pregnancy soared due to knock-on effects like school closures and increased poverty. Like all of us, children in Sierra Leone are scared of the virus and worried about the future.
There has never been a more important time to empower teenagers to take control of their sexual health and stay safe. And we quickly updated the content to include vital information about coronavirus as we saw it spreading across the world.
The pandemic and its secondary impacts such as lockdowns, lack of school and economic hardship threaten to be hugely damaging for women and girls worldwide. Six months of lockdown could lead to seven million unintended pregnancies and 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence.
There could also be an additional 13 million child marriages this decade. During the Ebola outbreak she became pregnant aged just 13 with a boy from a better off family.
Comprehensive sexuality education
I even got blurred vision from the hunger. There is no food. Girls need money. And the parents who allowed us to make these mistakes, we need to tell them to stop it. I worry for some of these children because they might not be so lucky. Save the Children provides food, cash and soap to girls facing hardship during the pandemic. The aid agency also gives teenage girls vocational training like tailoring, which they can use while still going to school to help boost family income.
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I did not know that it [family planning] was free. I really did not have the understanding to take prevention at that time. After training from Save the Children she meets girls with similar backgrounds, to share her story and help them navigate the tough decisions they face. In Sierra Leone, online misinformation on sex and sexuality contributes to high rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, especially in urban areas.
Talking about sex is taboo in families and communities, and sexual education is not taught in schools. It also shows them where they can find support in their community.
A vicious cycle that starts with a girl feeling pressured to support herself can end up with homelessness and motherhood. Save the Children worked with young people and Limkokwing University in Sierra Leone, and software developers Lulu Lab in Denmark, to create an interactive game which takes teenagers through realistic challenges in their lives.
As the threat of COVID grew the team worked fast to incorporate vital information about hygiene and social distancing. There have so far been cases of COVID and 47 deaths in Sierra Leone with fears the virus could spread rapidly through densely populated slums. This app is good because it teaches us about contraceptives and other ways we can be protected.
Sexual risk avoidance program
The app will protect me and my family from the virus. By using it we will learn more about social distancing, washing of hands frequently and using a face mask, no hugging or shaking of hands.
Teenagers identified scenarios and came up with options and solutions that felt real to them. The result is a tool that talks frankly about sexual reproductive health in a way that resonates with the people it aims to reach.
The game application can be accessed online or offline through smartphone or tablet. Mobile phone subscriptions in Sierra Leone more than doubled from to  - and usage is growing among urban teenagers. More than half of mobile connections in the country are now broadband . For children without tablets or smartphones Save the Children holds facilitated sessions with the app.
Worldwide, pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15— Adolescent mothers aged 10—19 years face higher risks of eclampsia and infections.
Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the united states
Each year there are 3. In Sierra Leone there are many parallels between the measures brought in to curb the Ebola outbreak in and the current COVID pandemic, such as school closures and curfews. Meanwhile the health system suffered and jobs were lost leading to economic hardship  and food insecurity.
Applying these spikes to the analogous situation today, the aid agency concluded that inthe pandemic could result in between 9 and 60 thousand additional adolescent pregnancies in Sierra Leone. Global Burden of Disease Please contact : media savethechildren.
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