Project to Improve Reproductive Health of Youth Allotted $10 Million


A sum of $10 million has been allotted to the Improved Reproductive Health of Youth Project, in the 2007/2008 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The allocation, which remains the same as the last financial year, will be used to continue improvements in reproductive health practices among adolescent youth.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the project commenced in September 1999 and is expected to end in September 2009.
To date, the project has achieved several of its targets. These include the setting up of a Youth Friendly Service (YFS) working group and establishment of standards and criteria for the group; completion of research and extensive literature review and data analysis of adolescent violence, suicide and reproductive health; and strengthening of information systems in hospitals and clinics.
In addition, more than 400 students have in some way benefited from specialized camps, while student leaders participated in a regional workshop and youth friendly materials were produced. An Adolescent Health Policy working group has been formed and guidelines relating to age of consent submitted. Also, 64 principals, vice principals and guidance counsellors received training at a two-day workshop.
Targets for this fiscal period include the strengthening of information systems and the development of an Adolescent Behaviour Surveillance System; maintaining and monitoring activities implemented in Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, Kingston and St. Andrew sites; providing art supplies and sport equipment to support school-based activities and developing interventions to improve mentorship supervised after school activities, which were developed in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), church schools and other organizations.
The programme will also seek to offer refresher training for facilitators and local level personnel from the Ministry of Health and YFS; adolescent reproductive health training for nurses and midwives, community leaders and influential persons; and further focus training of principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, coaches, and parents.
Behaviour change interventions for pre-teens, inner-city adolescents and boys will also be a part of the plans for the year.

JIS Social