Comprehensive Programmes for Adolescents
The European Community/UNFPA Initiative for Reproductive Health in Asia supports projects in seven countries, closely involving international, regional and local NGOs. Adolescent reproductive health is the focus in four of the countries: Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.
In Viet Nam, the initiative supports eight projects with the overall goal of improving sexual and reproductive health by making services youth-friendly and promoting information and communication through NGOs.(4)
Information activities include peer education, theatre performances, youth clubs, school-based extra-curricular activities, parent groups, education in health facilities and mass media efforts. Advocacy targets community leaders, local and national authorities and media decision makers, to strengthen commitment to the programme. Implementing partners have been given technical and managerial training in service delivery and communication.(5)
Marie Stopes International is helping to provide youth-friendly services in collaboration with the Vietnamese Youth Union in Hanoi and the Vietnamese Midwives Association in Hue. These two well-attended youth centres include outreach and awareness activities to increase their coverage. A recent evaluation found that staff were professional and positive towards youth, providing a good range of needed services for free or at low cost, and that access had been significantly improved.(6)
Youth House in Hanoi will serve as a model for future efforts, including government implementation of youth-friendly services. It involves young people at all project stages; combines reproductive health information with cultural performances to increase use of services; conducts outreach in workplaces, hotels and restaurants; and collaborates with businesses and pharmacies.(7)