Government in Uganda is developing frameworks for Universal Health Coverage, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), however young women are not meaningfully engaged in these decision-making processes.
How we are helping
The project will build the capacity of adolescent girls and young women (AGYWs) in Luwero district to advocate for accessible SRHR services and facilitate engagement in relevant policy processes.
About the project
AGYWs in Uganda typically have unequal cultural, social and economic status in society which can limit choices, opportunities and access to information and resources including health services. Rates of HIV infection and gender-based violence (GBV) are high among AGYWs—and have increased further due to Covid-19 restrictions—yet access to SRHR services is limited and there is little space for these voices to be heard in policy processes.
Challenges of gender inequality in access to services are being addressed through mechanisms such as Universal Health Coverage where frameworks will determine the package of health services available and how to access them.
Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) will train and mentor a cohort of AGYWs in leadership and advocacy and empower them to advocate for accessible, comprehensive and integrated SRHR, GBV and HIV information and services. The project will seek more widely to strengthen AGYW voices in SRHR policy processes using evidence-based advocacy.
This will be achieved through:
- Conducting a ‘Sign for health campaign’ to strengthen health communication using sign language and to advocate for the information needs of people with limited hearing.
- Devising quarterly radio talk shows and radio jingles to provide information on SRHR, GBV and HIV.
- Conducting quarterly monitoring and evaluation visits to facilitate learning and documentation of project success stories.
- Creating a social media campaign for dissemination and sharing of SRHR, GBV and HIV information.
- Training 10 AGYWs in SRHR and peer education, leadership, and advocacy, and social and behavioral change communication.
- Supporting AGYWs to conduct five bi-monthly community dialogues for recognition of their concerns and build an informed basis for change, to identify and follow-up on SRHR, GBV and HIV issues in their communities for evidence-based advocacy and to participate in quarterly District Health Committee meetings to share concerns and express their needs.
- Facilitating quarterly support supervision visits to health centres with DHT to ensure comprehensive, integrated SRHR, GBV and HIV services are available and accessible.
- Conducting two VCAT trainings for health workers on SRHR, GBV and HIV service delivery for AGYW.
- Conducting two paralegal trainings for AGYWs and community gatekeepers to equip them with legal knowledge and skills to address the needs of AGYWs.
- Convening a communication and advocacy workshop for media to amplify the needs of AGYWs.
- Planning joint collaborations and engagements on a quarterly basis held with like-minded actors/partners at district level for joint advocacy efforts.
- Using edutainment and informative performance arts (EIPA) including poetry, storytelling, dance narratives, flash mobs, skits and plays and forum theatre to disseminate SRHR information among young people.
- Launching poetry and storytelling competitions as advocacy tools to amplify voices of AGYW creative writers as they share their experiences of SRHR, GBV and HIV.
As a result of this project, it is anticipated that there will be increased access to SRHR information and services and active participation of AGYWs in local and national spaces to influence law and policy development for the promotion and protection of their health and rights. Collaboration between CSOs, key stakeholders and community gatekeepers to protect the health and rights of AGYW will be strengthened.
Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) is a not-for-profit youth led and youth serving organisation that works on issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), HIV prevention and awareness, youth economic empowerment, and water, hygiene and sanitation through edutainment and informative performance arts (EIPA). It also engages in empowerment and capacity building programmes, health education, evidence-based policy advocacy and awareness, social entrepreneurship and use of ICT for health.
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