The Need for Community Based SRHR Mentors in Improving Young People’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR): A Case of the “Get Up Speak Out” Programme Implemented in Western Kenya
Kenya’s Community Health Strategy (CHS) focuses on health actions for improved health at level one (community-based level). Poor health indicators have been reported among young people over the years; hence TICH, in its design for the Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) program, adopted the community-based approach (Community Health Strategy) by training and engaging 29 Community Health Volunteers as the SRHR youth group mentors for the GUSO program. Thereafter, the mentors were assigned roles with the aim of improving young people’s SRHR in their respective communities. The study was conducted among mentors to assess their knowledge and practice towards youth-friendly service, as well as the challenges they experience in mentoring the young people in the community. The survey was a full-coverage survey (target participants included all the 29 youth mentors engaged in the GUSO program). The study engaged an e-platform for questionnaire administration in adherence to the Covid-19 preventive guidelines from the Ministry of Health. The study found that most males are the most concerned with mentoring young people compared to women mentors with key support that mentors provide to young people during the mentorship process are attending young people meetings and providing training to young people. This study highlights the importance of CHVs when trained as mentors in supporting young people’s SRHR information and service access. The study emphasises the integration of tasks in line with young people’s SRHR alongside the CHVs normal tasks as a working strategy for improving young people’s SRHR situations in the community. However, the study highlights the gap in CHVs capacity to handle the hard-to-reach young people with SRHR information and services.
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