KATIMBIRA YOUTH COMMUNICATORS REACHING GIRLS THROUGH YOUTH CLUBS ON FAMILY PLANNING METHODS
Family planning is one of the crucial service among young people, girls especially, if we talk of availability of the service in health facilities is no longer an issue with the existence of youth friendly health services and well trained service providers. “But how the service can be flexible to accommodate girls and boys?” FOCCAD as one of the active Organisation in Nkhotakota district dealing with youth well-being in SRHR accessibility, the organization introduced community youth communicators to reach fellow youth members in communities with SRHR (family planning) information dissemination, just to fill the gap which was between young people and the service provider in response to alarming figures of teen pregnancies and early forced marriage.
Katimbira being one of areas affected with issues of family planning among girls took part in reducing cases of teen pregnancies and early forced marriages through FOCCAD intervention under Elma general funding where youth members from youth clubs were trained as community youth communicators. Katimbira youth communicators contributed on fueling up accessibility of family planning methods at katimbira health center, the health facility applaud with youth communicators because of their good work on reaching out boys and girls to access the services.
At first boys and girls thought that family planning methods were for people who are married, and the misconception about family planning stopped them from accessing the services, and they could feel shy to talk to the service providers about the service but because of the information they get often from youth communicators led them to start accessing the service.
Youth communicators are able to gather boys and girls during information sharing on family planning methods and this has helped girls and boys to access family planning from the health facilities
In narration Bright Dakalira chairperson at katimbira youth club and he is one of the youth communicators in the area, said, “for the past years girls who dropped out from school due to teenage pregnancies were many, because girls and boys did not have youth gatherings and share information on how they can avoid teenage pregnancies that can lead them to early forced marriages, currently through our regular meetings with boys and girls, young people are openly accessing family planning methods from the health facility”
Katimbira is one of the catchment area that is doing well with youth activities, the youth communicators are very active and they have a good coordination with the youth health friendly service provider at the facility as such provision of the services required to young people is no longer an issue at Katimbira because of good work that is offered by the youth communicators which contributed to youth mind set change over contraceptive methods.