From 14th to 16th October 2019, UYAHF was pleased to be a part of the 2019 Regional Core Group Global Health Practitioners Conference in Nairobi. The conference was held with the aim to link, leverage and learn from key health practitioners from across the world. UYAHF organized a powerful and interactive youth led session looking at ‘Working with young people to achieve Universal Health Coverage through delivering a responsive adolescent health care system’.
The Key specific objective of the session included:

Creating a platform for young people to share adolescent and youth specific experiences, needs and challenges for the health care system in their countries.

Discussing what needs to be done and opportunities to create adolescent responsive health care systems to achieve UHC

Discussing steps for prioritizing adolescent SRHR needs at the center of UCH and leverage progress for adolescent SRHR programs as an entry point for a full range of other adolescent health and development needs.

This session is a typically youth led and youth driven session and discussions will provide a platform of inter-generational dialogue between young people, practitioners and policy makers to dialogue, learn and share experiences, and reflect on the needs and challenges of young people in creating adolescent responsive health care systems for Universal Health Coverage and how Sexual and Reproductive Health needs of young people can be prioritized.

The session was delivered in an innovative and youthful way that included the use of an audio- visual report of key findings of the UYAHF research on young people’s experiences with the health system in Uganda, poetry, energetic dance interludes, group discussions and a youth focused panel discussion. The session was also used to launch the landmark Universal Health Coverage Report on Young People’s Experiences, Needs and Challenges with Uganda’s Health Care System.

One of the key things that came out of that session was the need for organizations and development partners to be deliberate about meaningfully engaging young people in decision making processes from the beginning of every programme. Additionally, during the group discussions, participants shared that it is important to put young people at the centre of programming for Universal Health Coverage. This should be supported by evidence gathering and should ensure that vulnerable and hard to reach young people are not left out. They also recognized the power and agency that young people have in bringing forward their own change and therefore called for more empowerment of young people to take up spaces that allow them to influence policy.

We pass on our deep appreciation to Core Group for ensuring that young people were meaningfully included throughout the sessions during the conference. We would also like to appreciate our partners from HIVOS South Africa, Ministry of Health Kenya and the UNFPA Youth Advisory Board Kenya who helped execute the session to its utmost best. We look forward to continued work together as we go on to impact our communities!