YHP ZAMBIA


Location

Nine communities in the Chadiza district of Eastern Province.


Timing

2011 – 2014


The local context

In Zambia around 66% of children marry under the age of 15, and many of the remainder by 18.  Strong peer pressure to drink alcohol, and experiment with drugs and unprotected sex, results in high incidences of HIV, sexually transmitted disease, and unwanted pregnancies.





Our objectives

Promote information sharing, education and communication for adolescents on health issues.

Strengthen and improve the existing health services to provide quality, youth-friendly services.

Mobilise community support and increase advocacy for improved access and quality of young people's health services.

 

Our focus

Education on noncommunicable disease risk factors and sexual health amongst young people aged 10-24 in disadvantaged communities.

 

Our programme

Health and sexuality education was provided through school health clubs and through peer education with Youth Action Movement (YAM) members identified from the community and trained as Peer Educators.

Events and media such as community radio and drama groups were used to develop awareness in communities around key health issues. This included participation in World Aids Day - where Peer Educators provided information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and young people took part in a march and drama performances to raise awareness.

Community leaders, service providers and young people were involved in the production of adolescent health themed radio programmes broadcast across the region. Parents and elders from the target communities ran sensitisations on key health issues affecting their communities to increase awareness.

Professional healthcare providers were trained in how to deal with young people and on privacy and accessibility of care issues. For example, a youth friendly corner was created in health centres to provide a place for young people to get information about their health, treatment and to get psychosocial support.




Our achievements

484 Peer Educators were trained, building the capacity of adolescents to become agents of change in their own communities.

22,443 young people were reached with adolescent health information directly by the campaign through community meetings and drama performances and 45,583 wider community members have been reached via radio shows.

9 youth friendly corners became fully operational and equipped, encouraging more young people to talk about their health and access services in an appropriate way. Clinics received higher numbers of people accessing their services as a first port of call (as opposed to traditional healers).

Distribution of contraceptives through service providers and young people was increased and freer discussion of sexual matters facilitated.

School health clubs, established by the YHP, continue to meet and grow – bringing young people together from within the schools and wider community to focus on their specific health needs.






Our partners

Plan Zambia has helped children to access their rights to education, health and economic empowerment since 1996.

Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) is dedicated to the promotion of family planning services. It is a major service provider and advocacy body, with significant input into government policy on sexual and reproductive health (SRH).