Democratic Republic of Congo


Population estimations take into consideration increased mortality rates caused by HIV and AIDS; which has lowered life expectancy, increased rates of infant mortality and reduced population growth overall. Public spending in education is 6.2%, while health public spending is only 1.1%.


Overall levels of access to primary schooling are reasonably high, however, there is a considerable drop-out rate between primary and secondary level schooling. There are also differences seen between girls and boys’ access to school, with girls having lower school enrolment in both primary and secondary school. The school curriculum includes HIV and AIDS, comprehensive sexuality education and a wide range of practical skills. However, teaching materials are not available for all levels. The HIV curriculum is obligatory and is examinable in primary and secondary schools. It is estimated that 80% of all primary and secondary schools include HIV, AIDS and Life Skills education based on this curriculum.


HIV prevalence across the country is low, particularly in comparison with other countries in the region and is lower among young people than adults within the population. Fertility rates among adolescents are quite high, a fact which can be partly attributed to early sexual debut, as 21.4% of girls have their first sexual experience before the age of 15 years. In addition, pregnancy related complications are more common among adolescents and contribute to a higher maternal mortality rate.

Some studies show that, for young people, health services are a second choice, after self-medicating or traditional healers, which are viewed as more easily accessible. There are a vast amount of challenges that remain in regards to sexual and reproductive health.

Updates and Stories

Workshops held at The National Cultural Festival in Mozambique

20 October, 2014   |   Blog, Events, Our people, Technical Coordination Group

Every two years, the Ministry of Culture organizes the National Cultural Festival in the province of Inhambane in Mozambique. The festival hosts domestic and international artists, cultural agents, and practitioners for a weeklong celebration of dive...


Education plays key role in ending teenage pregnancy across Eastern and Southern Africa

6 November, 2014   |   Blog, Our people, Technical Coordination Group

Every girl has the right to complete a quality education – however, the realities are that many do not make it through to their graduation. Teenage pregnancy is a significant cause to increased school dropout, with persistently high rates across E...


Take a stand on World AIDS Day

1 December, 2014   |   Blog, Our people

Today marks World AIDS Day. Every year, December 1st is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. According to UNICEF there were 2.1 million adolescents (10–19 years) living with HIV in 2013, 8...

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Wonderful to have young reporters asking their questions to our high level panelists today at @UNESCO #UNESCO dialogue hosted by South Africa's Dept of Basic #Education on scaling up #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENOW #YouthSRHNow Children's Radio Foundation #SaveTheChildren

[Photos by Czerina Patel]

Unesco Regional Office for Southern Africa
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Group photo of some following today's UNESCO High Level Policy Dialogue on #comprehensivesexualityeducation hosted by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa ! #ESACommitment #YouthSRHNow #CSENow #sexualityeducation #knowledgeispower

[Photos by Czerina Patel]
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‪#UNESCO Regional Director of #EastAfrica Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta & #Sweden Education Minister Gustav #Fridolin on SAFMNews Channel 404 this morning talking about the urgent need for govts to commit to #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENow #YouthSRHNow‬

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