DSW Programmes Director Reviews Impact of A4HU Youth Empowerment Approach on the Status of SRH in Uganda
Ms. Angela Baehr, DSW Programmes Director visited a Youth Empowerment Centre and the Youth Empowerment Centre Secretariat supported by Action 4 Health Uganda (A4HU) with the aim of learning about their contribution to efforts to address Sexual Reproductive Health issues of young people in Uganda.
The youth leaders, who are supported under the A4HU “Social Economic Empowerment Project” to coordinate peer to peer cascading of SRH information to over 2000 young people in 40 youth clubs in Tororo, Busia, Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts briefed the visitors on the overall objectives of the clubs in mentoring young people in income generation as a means of strengthening their capacity to access SRH services and commodities easily.
The team also show-cased one club, ‘Mission Youth Club’s progress in initiating a tailoring business from which they earn income and reach young people through peer learning sessions with information to enable them to make responsible reproductive health decisions.
Young people from Kasawo Youth Club in Mukono district further stressed the positive impact of strengthened referral mechanisms on the uptake of SRH services and commodities by young people in communities. The Club, which is situated in the youth friendly corner at Kasawo HC III explained that the referral voucher system that it adopted had enabled young people in the community to learn about the correct channels for receiving professional support for issues related to their reproductive health. Their referral system was appreciated by health facility staff, who appreciated the young people’s contribution to peer counselling and education which facilitated increased access to SRH services at the health centre facility.
According to the Mukono District Local Government Health Officer Dr. Eli Tumushabe, the involvement of A4HU’s youth in decision making platforms at the District went a long way in increasing awareness about youth SRH issues and fed into the process of forming a ‘District Adolescent Health Action Plan’ which ensures the inclusion of youth SRH priorities in district work plans and budgets.
A4HU, an affiliate of DSW is implementing the Social Economic Empowerment Project in Tororo, Wakiso, Busia, Mukono and Kampala districts with the aim of establishing youth-led network works to promote youth interests and youth-friendly SRH services and encouraging 40 communities to support youth clubs by offering youth-friendly health and social services.