On Thursday, 8th November 2018, LVCT Health joined Mombasa County and other stakeholders at the launch of the “Mombasa County Adolescents and Young People Strategy on HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health 2018-2023”. As the 1st ever strategy that addresses sexual reproductive health needs among Adolescents and Young people (AYP) in the county, the strategy aims to provide a holistic approach to the needs of adolescents and young people in Mombasa County.
The chief guest was Hon. Seth Odongo, the CEC for Devolution and Public Service Administration. He emphasised on the critical role played by young people in society and the need to address their needs in order to have great leaders in the future.
The event was also attended by Hon. Hazel Koitaba, the CEC for Health Mombasa County. Hon. Koitaba urged the young people to be proactive in advocating for better access to health services. She said that the strategy aims to ensure that the HIV prevalence in Mombasa, which is 1.2 times higher than the national prevalence at 7.5%.
The five year strategy, will also address some of the challenges faced by the AYP in Mombasa County, which include a high number of child marriages, gender based violence, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Other challenges in the county reveals low employment rates, high rates of school drop-outs and more AYP getting involved in sex tourism, which the strategy aims to address.
Speaking on behalf of the young people at the launch was Juliet Akumu- the Chair, Mombasa Youth advisory council (YAC), confirmed that the ideas proposed by adolescents and young people who were involved throughout the process we included in the strategy.
“We were constructively engaged right from the drafting, development, validation and launching. We remain committed in advocating for its implementation and ask the County government to allocate resources for its implementation. We thank the county government, different partners, youth organizations and young people who took part in developing and launching the strategy.”
Dr. Wanjiru Mukoma, the LVCT Health Executive Director, reiterated LVCT Health’s commitment of involving the youth in the design and implementation of adolescent and young people projects for significant impact.
“Meaningful involvement of Adolescents and Young people is key in finding home grown solutions to challenges they face.” Dr. Wanjiru
As a key partner in Mombasa county, LVCT Health was involved in the development of the strategy through financial support from UNICEF.