Through the Private Sector Health Partnership Kenya, MSD launched the G-Amini project with Jhpiego and Kenya Red Cross to improve health service delivery to young people.
The purpose of the G-Amini project is to empower girls and boys to take control of their sexual and reproductive health, establish their place in the community, and fully realize their potential to build a brighter future for Kenya.
With the $1.5m grant from MSD the project improves health services for young people by increasing the capacity of Mandera and Migori county governments to provide services for young people. Besides supporting the health sector to provide youth friendly services the G-Amini project also engages with the communities to improve the acceptance and demand for contraceptive services and sexual and reproductive health information.
Especially the involvement of the young people themselves has been key to the success of the project. One of the young people who have been engaged through the project is Jill. She is an inspiring 21 year law graduate, youth leader and advocate from Migori. She says that the biggest challenge that young people face is that they do not prioritize health issues.
“To the young people, other issues like school work and relationships seem to take priority, even where health services are accessible,” Jill says.
Another major challenge she points out is the attitude of the service providers that young people are often met with. They often see hostility and judgment by health providers when they try to access reproductive health services. She recounts that in many instances youth go to the clinic hoping to receive services but leave without being attended to due to the fear of victimization.
“You can be on the queue waiting to be attended to and the nurse blatantly ignores you, closes shop and leaves”. Jill hopes that G-Amini can changes this and that it will provide youth advocates with the necessary tools to enable them reach out to their peers.
“When a young person thinks about family planning it’s a distant subject. Family planning is for old people. We need to sensitize the youth on reproductive health so that they can relate to it and take control,” she explains.