SRHR Dialogue on access and utilization of HIV/AIDS and contraceptive services and information among health workers and marginalised groups of young people

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
RHU-Reproductive Health Uganda

Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, with support from Amplify Change is implementing a one year project dubbed: “Empowering Young Girls and Boys to Have Voice, Choice and Control over their Bodies, Health and Lives”

The project’s overall goal is to; Advocate for a friendly and favorable environment that promotes increased access to sexual reproductive health information and services for marginalized groups of young people through addressing barriers that affect access and utilization.

The project; “Empowering Young Girls and Boys to Have Voice, Choice and Control over their Bodies, Health and Lives” Is implemented under two major project outcomes namely:

Scale up access to quality SRHR services/ information/ products for marginalized groups
Generate increased public support for SRHR, and less negative statements, from key influencers.

Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum with support from Amplify Change organized a half day Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Dialogue on Access and Utilization of HIV&AIDS and Contraceptive Services and Information among Health Workers and Marginalized Groups of Young People The dialogue reached out to different marginalized groups like sex workers, young positives, health workers,

The Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Dialogue on Access and Utilization of HIV&AIDS and Contraceptive Services and Information among Health Workers and Marginalized Groups of Young People was conducted on the following objectives.

Educate service providers on addressing unique SRHR needs of marginalized groups of Young people through provision of quality and non judgmental youth friendly services
Empower health services providers and marginalized young people with required knowledge and skills to demand for scaling up of quality SRHR services and information and inclusion of young people in SRH services provision.
Discuss and identify enablers to increase access to SRHR services for marginalized groups of young people, identify gaps that hinder access and discuss mechanisms to scale up access to SRHR services like HIV, Contraceptives and STIs services.

The dialogue was a platform for the marginalized groups of young people to point out the  unique SRHR needs of vulnerable youths ie issues, gaps in delivery and access to SRHR services and mechanisms to address gaps and how to scale up access to quality SRHR services.

Gaps in delivery and access to SRHR services by the marginalized groups of young people

There are untrained /unfriendly health providers
Lack of confidentiality by health workers. “ In this the presenter sighted out a certain scenario were an LGBTI person went to the hospital to seek health care services and the health worker had to disclose all about her issues to fellow health workers in the facility.”
Self denial
Fear for disclosure.
Lack of youth friendly health services
Lack of information on SRHR
Lack of funds for the youth activities. i.e limited budget allocation from the government
Lack of Information Education and Communication materials
There is also lack of health consumables
There is also poor data collection mechanisms for the marginalized groups of young people

The presentation was made by Mr. Mwebaza Edward the Director Programs, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) who took participants through concept of human rights and how it can be applied to improve health care. For the marginalized groups of young people.

In his presentation, he highlighted that Human Rights are entitlements possessed by all human beings by the virtue of being human. Human rights were also  defined as those basic values without which people cannot live in dignity as human beings.

He further stressed that Human Rights may also be described as universal, natural, and inalienable entitlements that belong equally to all people simply because they are human beings with equal worth and dignity.
He took members through the characteristics of Human rights and he pointed out that they are universal, natural, inherent, inalienable, indivisible/interdependent, Enjoyment of human rights is based on non-discrimination, and are both Rights and obligations  

Recommendations/Way forward from the dialogue

The dialogue recommended that It is important for all stakeholders to work towards the integration of the rights based approach to health care because it is all encompassing enabling everyone to enjoy the right to health ensuring that health care is available, accessible, and acceptable and of good quality.
Identify focal point persons at health facilities to deal with issues of marginalized groups of young people
There should be establishment of functioning transitional clinics for young people living with HIV
There is need to orient health workers on the rights of LGBTI
Educate and encourage young mothers to access health care services
Participants also came up with an action plan to execute the recommendations and way forward actions.

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