168211 Empowering young people to enhance their reproductive health in Uganda

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sarah Kabasa , Health Department, Plan Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
Anthony Sikyatta, MD MPH , Health Department, Plan Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
BACKGROUND. In Uganda 50% of women are sexually active by the age 17 and the unmet need for family planning among women aged 15-19 years in 35%. THE INITIATIVE. Given this situation, Plan Uganda, an international, child-centered, humanitarian organization, implemented an Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) in the peri-urban slums of Kampala and in the rural Tororo, Luwero and Kamuli districts. In partnership with local NGOs, municipalities and community organizations, the ASRH project is reaching 250,000 youth in its three years of operations, of which 36% don't attend school. The major project strategy is to increase the role of young people in delivering Family Planning information and services: (a) by providing peer and group education; (b) by referring peers to project-supported health facilities and outreach clinics; (c) by establishing community youth corners to provide counseling and to distribute condoms and pills. In addition and in peri-urban Kampala, the project established worksite services for out-of-school youth, e.g. commercial bicycle riders, brick makers, garage attendants and washing bay attendants. RESULTS. Through 300 youth volunteers in 50 localities, the ASRH project increased the use of contraceptives among young people from 6% to 16% (almost double the national average for this age group). CONSEQUENCES. Empowering young people to provide Family Planning counseling and services to their peers is effective in Uganda. Based on this success, Plan Uganda and its partners plan to expand this experience to additional young adults in the country.

Learning Objectives:
1. Adolescents can effectively deliver RH information and services to their peers. 2. This strategy can make a significant different in the contraceptive prevalence rate of this age group.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I did the study on which this presentation is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.