• JIS News

    A sum of $10 million has been allotted to the Improved Reproductive Health of Youth Project in the Health Ministry, as set out in the 2006/07 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
    The allotment will continue improvements in the reproductive health practices among adolescent youth.
    Funded by the Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project commenced in September 1999 and is expected to end in September 2009.
    Targets for the period 2006-2007 include the implementation of standards and criteria for youth-friendly services in Jamaica and consolidation of the institutional framework of the adolescent health programme at the head office, regional and parish levels.
    The programme will also seek to maintain and monitor activities implemented in Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, Kingston and St. Andrew sites, while introducing service-delivery and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities to Westmoreland, Hanover and St. Catherine to perform its task of youth-friendly services.
    There will also be targeted interventions for preteens, inner-city adolescents and boys, working with schools, the church and parenting groups.
    Additional training will also be provided for master trainers, health care providers, church leaders, parents, peer educators and men.
    The strengthening of information systems and the development of an adolescent behaviour surveillance system in relation to computer training, auditing and systems development will also be a part of the plans for this fiscal year.
    So far under the project, model service delivery sites have been launched in Balaclava and Junction, St. Elizabeth; and May Pen, Clarendon and situational analyses conducted at model sites in Kingston. Curriculum development workshops have been conducted, in addition to facilitating trainer’s workshops for health care providers, religious leaders, parents, peer educators and men.
    This is in addition to the formation of an Adolescent Health Policy Working Group and the submission of guidelines relating to age of consent.
    Separately, Askenish All-age School in Hanover has received much attention under the programme, with the staging of a teacher-training workshop in creative arts for teachers/guidance counsellors at the school. The school was also the site of a three-week pre-teen pilot intervention implemented from June 13-26 in 2002.
    Also developed were youth-friendly materials for communication and operational research on adolescent health resiliency factors that delay sexual initiation in 12-16 year olds.
    Meanwhile, some 60 students have benefited from the project by attending a special camp at Munro College as well as 55 students, who attended another camp in St. Elizabeth. Another 44 students have attended the Ministry’s Cheerleading camp at GC Foster College.