Advocacy for youth access to reproductive health services

Dakar, Jan 13 (APS) – Twenty-five youth organizations working in reproductive health have received training to participate in national advocacy for access to information and services related to reproductive health, said Friday, Ndeye Marième Ly Diagne, program officer at the NGO Equipop.

"We have brought together several civil society actors, particularly youth organizations working on adolescent and youth reproductive health to put in place an advocacy strategy at the national level," she said during of the closing ceremony of the Incubation Laboratory called ''words of young people at the heart of advocacy for reproductive health rights''.

This six-day meeting was held in Dakar (January 9-13). It is part of the Reproductive Health project for adolescents and young people in Senegal (Sansas February 2021-February 2025) led by a consortium of organizations (SOLTHIS, ENDA, RAES, EQUIPOP, LARTES) and aims to improve access to the reproductive rights and health of young people in Senegal in particular young people, young women and vulnerable young people.

This training "wants to create an enabling environment for access to information and services related to the reproductive health of adolescents and young people", she said, stressing that advocacy is being be conducted to ask the authorities to facilitate this access.

For the program manager, ''this is done through better consideration and better involvement of young people in decision-making bodies''.

In this wake, Abdoulaye Ka, coordinator of the “Sansas” project, indicated that the objective is to “improve access to reproductive health services for adolescents and young people”. ''But we insist more on improving the service offer and capacity building of knowledge and skills of young people,'' he said.

''It is to promote a social environment suitable for the implementation of public health policy. This allowed us to do work at the level of social change, the capacities of young people and to see today what are the levers on which we must focus advocacy at the national level”, he added.

According to him “a lot of effort has been made”. "But there is work to be done in terms of accessibility, in terms of supporting the improvement of the environment in which service providers operate at the community level and at the level of public structures," said Ka.

“By the end of 2024, beginning of 2025, we will see if access to services has improved and if young people have improved their knowledge and skills,” he said.

The “Sansas” project is implemented in the three departments of the Sédhiou region and in the department of Mbour.