Dr. Adriane Martin Hilber,Dr. Sonja Merten,Karin de Graaf,Dr Ndayishimiye Juvénal


Survey report 2014


This study evaluates the baseline situation for the Dutch-funded programme ‘Making Sexual and Reproductive Health Work for the Next Generation’. The programme aims at improving young people’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in three central African countries:  the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where the programme targets four health zones (Katana, MitiMurhesa, Idjiwi, Walungu) of the South Kivu Province; Rwanda in four districts (Gicumbi, Kirehe, Nyaruguru, Rusizi) in four provinces; and Burundi in six provinces (Bururi, Cankuzo, Karusi, Makamba, Rutana, and Ruyigi)

Key Findings

Who are the young people in Burundi?

The majority of  young people surveyed  were single  and  lived  with  their  parent(s)  or a relative.More than half of the respondents had some level of education, with 58% currently being in school, however, a large group of young people did not access any education at all (15% young women and 5% young men).

Very high proportions of young people visited a religious service at least once a week (90%), followed by community activities (33%) and youth centers (12%). Generally, young men participated  more  actively  in  sports  activities  (66%)  compared  to  young  women  (37%).

Exposure to radio at least once a week was high (63%) and 56%  of  respondents  declared  owning  a  mobile  phone. Access  to  the  internet  was  rather  low,  however  higher among young men (4%) compared to young women (1%)

What do young people know about sexuality?

Survey population groups


Young people:  15-24 years Adolescents:    15-19 years Youth:              20-24 years

About half of the surveyed young people (53%) had received sexuality education; and 32% accessed  this  information  in  the  last  12  months.  The  main  place  where  they  received sexuality education was at school (91%) followed by health centres (8%).Despite having recently received sexuality education, sexuality knowledge was rather low and quite inconsistent.

Young people had particularly low knowledge on women’s fertility patterns. For example, about half of the young people reported that a woman cannot become pregnant the first time that  she  has  sexual  intercourse  (56%);  and  54%  thought  that  birth  control  pills  offer protection against sexual transmitted infections and HIV – both answers being incorrect. Generally young men had better knowledge scores (46%) compared to young women (28%)– measured by the ability to answer 6 out of 7 questions correctly.

Who is sexually active?

Among the young people, more women (32%) than men (24%) disclosed having had sexual intercourse, yet the median age of sexual debut for women was at 19.2 years and for men18.9 years. Among young single people, 11% reported having had sex, as compared to 46% of those in a relationship but not living together. The majority of youth (51%) reported to have had sexual intercourse as compared to adolescents (12%).

Who is using sexual and reproductive health services and where do they go?

More young women than men reported having previously used sexual and reproductive health services. The majority were youth who had accessed services within the last 12 months. Young people using services were also more likely to be married/living with a partner (74%), as compared to young people in a relationship but not living together (23%) or single (7%). In general, young people tend to access these services primarily in health centers (63%), followed by hospitals (19%).

Who are the young people with children?

Respondents with children were mainly found among youth (31%) and to a lesser extent among adolescents (2%). A majority of young people that were married and living together had children (72%). Of the female respondents who were pregnant or already had a child at the time of the survey, a high proportion stated that their last pregnancy was unplanned (45%).

Who is using contraceptive methods?

Knowledge  of  modern  contraceptive  methods  is  high  amongst  young  people  (97%  of sexually active unmarried women and 99% of sexually active unmarried men could cite 5 methods of modern methods). Actual uptake of modern contraceptive methods among the same group is very low (17% for women and 12% from men). Yet, the potential future demand for  modern  contraceptive  methods (i.e.  young  people  who  do  not  wish  to  get pregnant, and are not against the use of modern contraceptives) is high among sexually active young people with about half (46% women and 58% men) considered as potential future users of family planning methods, although they are currently non-users.

Who is experiencing physical and sexual violence?

More than a quarter of young people reported having experienced physical violence at least once since the age of 15, with a larger proportion among young men (32%) compared to young women (19%). Perpetrators of physical violence were mainly family members and teachers.

Over a quarter of young female respondents (26%) and 9% of male respondents reported being a victim of sexual violence. Perpetrators of sexual violence were mainly current partners, friends, colleagues, or neighbours.

The majority of young people having experienced sexual violence (53%) consulted either a friend or family member (50%); however none of the respondents mentioned consulting a health service provider or other professional institution or service.

How do health professionals interact with adolescent and youth clients?

The survey conducted among health service providers offering  sexual  and reproductive health services showed that despite the fact that most health professionals had received training and guidelines for these services, they reported low confidence in their knowledge and skills to provide these services to young people. Similarly, community health workers reported low confidence in having sufficient knowledge to sensitize young people on sexual and reproductive health and on knowing how to communicate with them about the benefits and risks related to these services (i.e family planning).

Counseling on contraceptive methods

The results across the three surveys show discrepancies in the perceived quality of family planning service provision (between health professionals, community health workers and young people). The vast majority of service providers (95%) reported that they informed their clients about side effects or problems that may occur with contraceptive method use and what to do in case they occur (99%). However, among young people who reported using family planning services, only 53% reported having received adequate information about side effects and how to appropriately manage them when they occur (51%).

NG_A&Y Survey Report_EN_BURUNDI_final suiss TPH


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