ACCESS TO SRHR INFORMATION AND SERVICES IN KIGEZI SUB REGION
There is still a challenge with accessibility of SRHR information and Services at most of the Centres and Units all around Kigezi Sub Region
LOSCO in Partnership with CEHURD /COPASAH came in with an effort where a Hybrid Dialogue was conducted involving the Duty Bearers, Community Leaders and Health Service Providers to address the issue in a comprehensive manner. A consensus was reached appreciating that these services are still insufficient in most of the health units and urgently needs to be addressed to prevent the risky Maternal Mortality rates in Kigezi Sub region.
This was seen to have been partly responsible for the rise up of Teenage Pregnancies in Kigezi Sub Region because of the myths the youths and parents still believe in and limitation in movements for the services. This is also attributed to the mysterious deaths of youths and mothers due to un safe abortions.
A report was shared and the next steps suggested to the lead implementers of health Programs, there was a Media engagement to further spread the information and all this was coupled with a Radio Talk Show with the Local Leaders and the DHO that took up the responsibility to have this addressed with colleagues in the sector. Apparently Kabale District Local Government is following it through the Human Rights Based Approach in all program Areas and SRHR is considered among others like social justice and climate change.
LOSCO observed that even the Leaders in the Health sector undermined the power of information and appreciated the intervention which should ultimately be cascaded out of the Health Centres to Communities that include schools and institutions of learning.
From the Implementation, LOSCO learnt and is from the subsequent engagements still learning that Participatory approach to the interventions is critical for the sustainability of the positive results if SRHR is to make meaning in not only youth livelihoods but also amongst the parents and communities
The best practice is using the Human rights based approach that will promote inclusivity where no one is left behind along the eco system of interventions and service delivery.
Other than the Traditional Norms and Values that Bakiga believe so much in, there is a challenge when it comes to consistence in our efforts to deconstruct the narrative that comprehensive sexuality education will be the best if not the only way out. LOSCO’s Capacity is still limited in the financial aspect of things. Every other issue is taken care of except that one.
LOSCO is however adopting the aspect of partnerships where different entities have been approached that include New Partners in Environmental Conservation to include SRHR information. Also LOSCO’s HRE Programming includes SRHR as a cross cutting issue when it comes to Addressing the Gender Inclusivity and Intersectionality approach. A coalition is soon to be established that will address Climate Change and SRHR is at the centre of Programming where RHU will be on board to support with Experience.
This will be scaled up through increasing Access to Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) services and information for all through community mobilisation in Kigezi Sub Region and also continuous awareness raising and promoting Health Service equity among the populations through social mobilization and accountability by citizens with good governance in health that are rights based. Otherwise it remains at a local level.
For this Scale up to materialize, there is need to consider taking the HRB SRHR Information Sharing to Schools and Institutions, Consistent radio talk shows targeting the working class and parents in their homes, engaging the duty bearers on a regular basis building their capacity and zeal to influence policy formulation on the same.
For the implementation to impact SRHR programming broadly, there must be intentional messaging targeting specific audiences and this be done on a regular basis because for mindset change, consistence is key.
There has to be continuous Advocacy with Evidence and relationship building with stakeholders through continuous engagements
Ensure Compliance with the Law so the Advocacy efforts are not watered down through noncompliance crackdown
Need to work closely with the Communities especially the leaders and create partnership with governments in their regions
To the coalition:
Has to intentionally scale up if resources allow to cover a wider area (all regions)
Design uniform Messages to target different Audiences and all languages and disseminate through members
Train some media Houses and Journalists on the best way to bring the message home and intentionally select the Media Houses and Channels to use for a broader reach depending on the regions.
Offer support and referral information access points for more information
Institute health corners for the young and key populations at all health units
Build capacity for VHTs to play a more supportive role than the usual routine work.
Train the Government Health Providers in providing specialised care and information services
Support the initiatives partners are implementing like Medical Outreaches (Grassroots Approach), Information sharing materials and efforts