Understanding Sexual and Reproductive Health in Very Young Adolescents in Rural Uganda

Project Details

This project is a community-based research project to explore sexual and reproductive health needs of very young adolescents, ages 10-14, in rural Uganda. ​To explore this topic, researchers will evaluate two primary research questions:

1) What are the individual and social factors that contribute to adolescent sexual development in rural Uganda?

2) What are very young adolescent (VYA) preceptions of the context in which they are growing up in Uganda? How do these perceptions relate to their sexual and reproductive health. 

To answer these questions, researchers will conduct individual interviews, focus groups, and use photovoice to improve our understanding of the strengths and risks these adolescents experience that impact their health and development. 

The goal of this project is to inform a culturally tailored, age-appropriate, community-informed intervention to promote VYA sexual and reproductive health. 

Project History

The Mbarara University of Science and Technology - University of Virginia research and training collaboration (MUVa) started in 2007 under the leadership of Christopher C. Moore, MD. Since then the MUST and the UVa Center for Global Health have supported numerous undergraduate students, physicians in training, and graduate students to obtain international health related training and research experiences. 

CGH has also partnered with the MUST Institute for Interdisciplinary Training and Research (IITR) to provide UVa students with diverse opportunities in research and training in fields including community health, reproductive health in very young adolescents, gender studies, religious studies, and development studies among other fields of study. The VYA sexual and reproductive health project began in 2015 with a collaboration between Susan Kools, PhD, RN, FAAN from UVa and Viola Nilah Nyakato, PhD from MUST. In 2016 and 2017 it served as a training project for the UVa Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) program and continues to provide research training opportunities for both MUST and UVa students. 


This project takes place in the local communities near Mbarara, Uganda. UVA CGH partners with Mbarara University of Science and Technology's Institute of Interdisciplinary Training and Research