A team of service providers from different organizations and health facilities convened at Mestil Hotel for a one day’s service provider meeting organized by Planned Parenthood-Uganda Chapter to formulate a network of health workers in Uganda who will build a suitable eco system for Sexual and Reproductive services (SRH) through advocacy, research documentation and information dissemination.
The meeting which was attended by 13 service delivery and advocacy organizations discussed the goals, vision and structure of the coalition that will build a suitable ecosystem for SRH service delivery in Uganda.
During the meeting, Mr. Cedikol, the FMP Service Delivery Manager, presented the need to equip partner health service points with commodities and safe spaces for especially adolescents who most a times find difficulty accessing youth friendly services.
Most women and young people face considerable barriers when trying to access sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services yet the barriers that prevent them from obtaining SRH services originate from within the service delivery environment. Most Health service providers may exhibit unfriendly or judgmental attitudes, behave in a way that is disrespectful or stigmatizing, provide poor quality of care, or unnecessarily restrict access to certain services by requiring parental or spousal permission when not required.
Mobilizing a well-trained and active group of service providers is therefore essential to the realization of sexual and reproductive health rights for adolescents and would yield immense health benefits. Studies have shown that if youth friendly services were offered in friendly environments, unintended pregnancies among this group would drop by 72%. Additionally, if full provision of modern contraception were combined with adequate medical care for all pregnant adolescents and their newborns, adolescent maternal deaths would drop by 76% per year.
This network will therefore use a coordinated and multifaceted approach to improve women and adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health in Uganda, by creating youth-centered health programs that are nondiscriminatory, medically accurate and developmentally appropriate. This includes improving access to and quality of comprehensive sexuality education as well as sexual and reproductive health services, both in and outside of the school setting.