HomeHow You Can HelpUNFPA Site MapRegister/LoginHelp
About UNFPAPopulation IssuesUNFPA WorldwideLatest NewsState of World PopulationICPD and MDG FollowupPublications
Campaign Strategy
Current Status
Country Highlights
Youth Partner Profiles
Photo Gallery
Contact Us

Dominican Republic

Youth Partner

Name: Elisabet “Teba” Fadul
Age: 18
Nationality: Dominican
Affiliated Organization:

National Honors Society

Elisabet “Teba” Fadul is part of a volunteer service organization at her school called the National Honors Society. The National Honors Society focuses on volunteer work in Elisabet’s community. The group has organized milk drives, and Elisabet recently organized a volunteer trip to a children’s hospital. She also works to organize Model UN meetings for her school.

Elisabet likes to watch movies and go out with her friends. She loves Mexican food and hopes to visit Greece in the future. Elisabet describes herself as responsible, easy-going, and patient, and says that her role model is her mother.


UNFPA in the Dominican Republic

Dominican youth aged 15-24 accounted for 22 percent of all HIV infections in 1999. Young Dominican women’s vulnerability to infection has increased greatly in the past decade. In 1987 the male/female ratio of HIV infection was 7:1, but by 2003 the ratio of male positive youth to female positive youth was 1.3 :1. Pregnancy has become the principal cause of death among females between ages 15 and 19 in the Dominican Republic. Nearly one in four in this age group is either pregnant or has already given birth. There are few reproductive health services for young people in the marginal communities surrounding major cities, where 64 per cent of the population is concentrated.

Using peer education and counseling, the UNFPA supported Programme aims to reduce adolescent pregnancy, STIs and HIV infection rates by making young people more aware of the health risks of unprotected sex. Teens are encouraged to postpone their first sexual encounter or to maintain a faithful relationship with one partner.

Some 360 adolescents have been trained as voluntary peer counselors on sexual and reproductive health matters. They each counsel between 15 to 30 youths, distribute educational material and, with parental consent, contraceptive methods (condoms, spermicides and pills, after their first prescription by a physician) and refer special cases to health services. The counselors also conduct town meetings and theatrical presentations for their communities. In two years, the project has counseled nearly 9,000 young people, 30 per cent of whom are not in school. Growing demand has given rise to open educational activities in schools, churches and community gathering places. The project has also trained 90 Ministry of Health physicians, nurses and psychologists in integrated adolescent health care, and produced a manual on sexual and reproductive health, a video and other educational materials.

The Dominican Republic approved a National Youth Law incorporating adolescent sexual and reproductive health in 1998 with the support of the Vice President and the input of a National Youth Forum. Young people called for a law to establish a cabinet-level Youth Ministry and to devote 1 per cent of the national budget to it, legislation that was eventually passed with some modifications. “Of symbolic and equal importance,” wrote one observer, “is the law’s recognition of youth as a national resource and positive force. This recognition is in striking contrast to existing laws that portray young people as potential troublemakers who must be controlled or punished.”

Sources: (State of World Population 2003: Giving Adolescents Priority):
previous   next

Back to top

| Contact Us | Help/FAQs | Site Index | Other UN Sites | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy |