Contributing to increased demand and utilization of sexual reproductive health services among adolescent girls in Palabek refugee camp.
Reinforce synergies among stakeholders/health service providers in advocating for sexual reproductive health rights of adolescents girls.
What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?
Palubar refugee settlement camp in northern Uganda is home to over 500,000 south Sudanese refugees freeing fighting in the war ravaged South Sudan. Majority of these are children and women and its estimated that nearly 40% are young girls aged 12-25. Most of these adolescent girls have reached the reproductive age and a portion of them have experienced sexual violence and exploitation prior to being resettled in Uganda which has resulted in unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions,transmission of STI's and death. The situation is worsened by their inability to access information on sexual reproductive health, lack of access to basic contraceptives and stigma & in accessing sexual reproductive health services due to skewed cultural beliefs.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?
Despite efforts to address these challenges, there are limited youth friendly spaces which can offer adolescent girls and boys opportunities to access information, offer training and basic contraceptives. Additionally, there is limited willingness by stakeholders to prioritize the sexual reproductive needs of adolescents in the refugee settlement camp. The available health units in the camps do not provide comprehensive sexual reproductive health services and health workers have limited skills
Explain Your Idea
We propose to establish mobile Sexual reproductive health hubs within the camp that will be a one stop center for adolescent girls and boys to access sexual reproductive health services and information. The established hubs will be managed by a team of trained change agents that shall be supervised by an experienced sexual reproductive health expert, it should be noted that the team will be trained in sexual reproductive health and will be majorly composed of youth (female and male) volunteers. The hubs shall be equipped with modern facilities that can interest adolescent girls and boys to frequently visit these hubs. A referral pathway shall be established with existing health units within the camp whereby individuals requiring more attention like safe abortions, family planning products like use of coil can be referred for additional and proper attention. Additionally a mobile application shall be developed to enable adolescents share information with the trained peers on challenges they continue facing. In a bid to solicit and encourage stakeholder support, open space dialogues between adolescent girls & boys with health service providers, civil society organisations, donors, partners and local authorities shall be organised to advocate for improved comprehensive delivery of sexual reproductive health services to adolescents and respect for sexual reproductive health rights of adolescents. Youth contributed to these ideas during dialogue a meeting organised in the camp.
Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).
Establishing youth friendly hubs equipped with facilities that interest young girls and boys will provide avenues for access to information on sexual reproductive health to adolescents which will address a challenge of access to information. Establishment of the referral pathway with other health service providers will ensure adolescents and other community members access specialized ,contraceptives and STI treatment. Having specialized hubs for adolescents will encourage adolescent girls to discuss openly their sexual reproductive health needs and challenges thus addressing the challenge of stigma. Providing a mobile application platform for adolescents will encourage peer learning and access to information for distant adolescents.
How is your idea unique?
Our idea is unique in a way that there is currently no initiative designed to target adolescent boys and girls in Palubar refugee settlement camp. The available health units provide general health treatment and do not provide adolescent tailored sexual reproductive health services. The idea puts adolescents at the center stage as beneficiaries of the program by involving them directly to participate as trained team members to manage the flow of sexual reproductive health information. The idea of developing a mobile phone application to provide a platform for adolescents to freely share their sexual reproductive health needs and challenges is unique because it enables adolescents that feel uncomfortable physically sharing about sexual reproductive health to do so. Above all the concept appreciates the fact that these adolescents come from hostile backgrounds characterized by brutality, trauma and suffering therefore the need to provide adolescent interest learning facilities.
What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?
The major concern about the idea is the effectiveness of the mobile phone application since a substantial number of young girls and boys in the refugee camp may lack skills to use the mobile phone and actually most of them may no be owning the mobile phones.
Who are your end users?
The idea is expected to benefit young adolescent girls and boys aged between 12 & 30 years living in Palubar refugee settlement camp in Lamwo district, northern Uganda. It is expected that a total of 8000 young boys and girls will benefit directly and 50,000 indirectly. The first line beneficiaries of the intervention are young girls and boys and will benefit through gaining adequate skills in sexual reproductive health resulting from training's, increased access to adequate information on sexual reproductive health through awareness creation, increased access to family planning/contraceptives , STI treatment through building synergies with health service providers and attract funding support for future interventions targeting adolescents.
Where will your idea be implemented?
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in
The idea is expected to be implemented in refugee settlement camp occupied by south Sudanese nationals. The nationals are from major rival tribes of the Dika and Neur that are hostile to each other and therefore there is need to pay attention to these differences. The Northern part of Uganda where the camp is situated has limited developed infrastructure like good roads and clean water. The idea best suits serves vulnerable communities that have limited access to health services and facilities
What is your organization's name?
Youth Social Work Association (YSA)-Uganda
Tell us more about you.
Youth Social Work Association is a national non governmental organisation working to promote the welfare of children, youth and women in Uganda and East Africa as a whole. The organisation has a head office in Kampala-Uganda and field offices in Kitgum-Lamwo,Gulu and Dokolo districts all in northern Uganda. The organisation boosts of experienced & dedicated staff in promoting sexual reproductive health rights of young people and women and are devoted to implementing the initiative. The organisation implements projects in close collaboration with other community based organisations, partners, youth and women groups. The staff at Youth Social Work Association are enthusiastic, open minded and are conversant with the needs of adolescents.
What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?
National - expansive reach within 1 country
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
Yes, for more than a year.
The Organisation head office is located on Plot 653, Ntinda-Kisaasi Road, Kampala city with field offices in the districts of Gulu, Dokolo, Kitgum and Lamwo in Northern Uganda
What is your organizational status?
Registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
What is the maturity of your innovation?
Existing Prototype or Pilot: Tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.