Generation Alive Zambia, a youth-centered Non-Governmental Organization, says access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services and information on related health issues among young people has steadily improved in the country.
Generation Alive Zambia Program Officer, Shalom Mwape has attributed this to the introduction of Youth-friendly corners in health facilities in Zambia.
Ms. Mwape has however said Zambia risks losing the gains made so far in ensuring that young people continue accessing SRHR and information because of reduced support to Youth Friendly Corners which are created at the health facility level across the country.
She explained that accessing reproductive health services among young people remains a challenge for young people as they are not free to discuss their needs with adults due to traditional and cultural reasons.
She said this when she handed over furniture and sports equipment to Kapiri Mposhi Urban Clinic and Ndeke Clinic Youth Friendly Corners, procured by her organisation to ease challenges Youth Friendly Corners face in mobilizing young people to access Health Sexual Reproductive Health services and information on related health services in the district.
“Our objective is to support the youth-friendly spaces because this is where young people come to access different services freely and we want to ensure that a lot of young people are accessing comprehensive reproductive health services and information. We believe that we will be able to attract more young people to access these services and help them refrain from illicit activities such as drug abuse,” Ms. Mwape said.
Ms Mwape stated that youth friendly spaces should be supported as they have been instrumental in removing barriers that prevent young people from accessing a range of health services.
And Kapiri Mposhi District Adolescent Health Focal Person, Ken Kaluba disclosed that the concept of youth friendly spaces is bearing fruit as there is a recorded decrease in the number of complications with regards to Reproductive Health issues such as unsafe abortions and cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI) and HIV among young people in the district.
Mr Kaluba disclosed that currently there are 25 Youth Friendly Corners established in the district where young people are proactively accessing reproductive health services and information on all focus areas.
“Initially, we should have youth friendly spaces in all our 36 health centres in the district but we only have 25 and most of these spaces lack basic equipment and motivation to effectively operate and to attract more youths to access services,” Mr. Kaluba said.
Meanwhile, one of the youths has commended Generation Alive Zambia for donating sporting equipment to the youth friendly spaces in the district.
Richwell Nyirenda said the sports equipment that include chess mats, volley and foot balls among others will help to keep many young people in targeted areas stay away from illicit activities such as beer drinking.