One of the key objectives of the Mobile Farm Schools,a youth economic empowerment program for Kitovu Mobile is to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth.
In its bid to realise this objective, Kitovu Mobile trained Kalungu District Community Facilitators,Village Health Team Members and nurses on provision of Youth Friendly Services (YFS)
These services help reduce on: the risks of pregnancy at an early age, the increased biological vulnerability of young women to HIV;other STIs, and the unique factors that influence decisions about contraceptive methods during adolescence.
This is why Kitovu Mobile takes it a concern to ensure that YFS providers have a basic understanding of the health needs specific to youth by investing in such refresher training.
Held at at Kalungu sub county Mobile Farm School Center, the two-day training was conducted by various facilitators, including the assistant District Health Officer for Kalungu District.
Ms Aidah Nagirinya reminded the trainees about the requisite skills of dealing with the youth while offering YFS to the youth in their areas jurisdiction.
” I know many of you know these skills but we need to remind ourselves and see if you have been applying them. These are: confidentiality, friendliness, not judgemental, acceptability,openness and others,” Ms mentions as the trainees reflect on them.
Explaining each skill, the medical officer requested the trainees to uphold all of the attributes, if they are to effectively deal with the youth and mitigate the risks of getting HIV/AIDS
“These skills are intertwined. You can not be approachable, open but when you don’t keep secrets,. This will will make youths hesitant to share their problems with you causing gaps in the service,” Ms Nagirinya stressed.
“Accept them,take them the way they are not the way you should expect them to be,first over help before you judge them,”Nagirinya added
Ms Nagirinya lauded Kitovu Mobile for such initiatives,saying: “ It helps us to keep reminding health workers of what is required of them’
In the same way, she said, they are able to let them know of the changes in policies. For example, the recent increase of antenatal care visit is from a minimum of four to at least eight visits through the pregnancy.
Trainees said they have refreshed on many issues relating to HIV and ready to improve in the provision of youth friendly as services as Imaculate Namuli noted.
The Misenyi VHT said: ” I have built communication and counseling skills to establish a better sense of trust between the youth and us service providers.