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UGANDA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT LINK

Monday, 11th December 2017

Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health

In 2002-2005, UYDEL established four (4) youth friendly drop in centres and 12 mobile clinical outreach posts in the communities with the support from African Youth Alliance (AYA)/Pathfinder International/UNFPA; which provided Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) information, family planning counselling and STI treatment to 1,800 Adolescent Commercial Sex Workers (ACSWs) and 600 street/slum adolescents.  Between 2007-2008, UYDEL coordinated a network of 14 organisations implementing ASRH information and services in Mukono District with support from International Council on Management Population Programmes (ICOMP). This intervention trained 100 youth peer educators and 20 health service providers from participating organisations, created formal referral systems between government and private health facilities.

In collaboration with University of California, Los Angeles- CCH, UYDEL built the capacity and skills of 25 UYDEL staff that provided ARH life skills and vocational skills training to 400 young people who successfully found employment and started their own income generating activities. To date, youth friendly services, vocational skills, ARH and life planning skills have been mainstreamed in the organisation's operations with vulnerable young people. UYDEL continues to work in the slum areas (operating youth drop-in-centres and outreach services to contribute to prevention of HIV/AIDS, provide accurate information on RH, alcohol and drug abuse and sexual abuse and exploitation among vulnerable young people including adolescent commercial sex workers. Our experience working with ACSWs in Kampala has taught us that adolescents are vulnerable because many lack comprehensive knowledge of ARH, lack skills to negotiate and make decisions on their RH, lack employable skills; others have limited access to RH services because of few service points that do not offer tailor made friendly services that address their peculiar needs.

Currently, UYDEL is implementing a Health Matters Project with a breakthrough of increased male youth involvement and beneficiaries in the project implementation process. A greater involvement of owners of entertainment places where most children are exploited including bars, lodges and karaoke dancing places as well as utilization of peer educators and former beneficiaries of the program has helped UYDEL reach more male clients (from 35 to 77 male young people). Now there is an increase in uptake of HIV counseling and testing services. This gave us an exceptional opportunity for discussion on a regular basis with special focus on risky sexual behavior, use of substances, unemployment, migration, violence and trauma, sexuality and relationships and living positively with HIV, stigma and discrimination, reducing the number of sexual partners, and use of protection against unintended pregnancy and STIs during sexual intercourse and other protective factors.