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Shanti Raman, Paediatrician, Senior Lecturer, UNSW Rachel Nicholls, PhD Scholar, UNSW Freda Pitakaka, Kathy Gapirongo, Levi Hou: Solomon Islands team Addressing.

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Presentation on theme: "Shanti Raman, Paediatrician, Senior Lecturer, UNSW Rachel Nicholls, PhD Scholar, UNSW Freda Pitakaka, Kathy Gapirongo, Levi Hou: Solomon Islands team Addressing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shanti Raman, Paediatrician, Senior Lecturer, UNSW Rachel Nicholls, PhD Scholar, UNSW Freda Pitakaka, Kathy Gapirongo, Levi Hou: Solomon Islands team Addressing barriers to inter-sectoral collaboration In Delivering effective Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health services in Solomon Islands

2 Background In Pacific: people 50% of population -disproportionately disadvantaged Improving ASRH and rights: critical to wider development agenda of Solomon Islands Many adolescents do not use health services due to known barriers, but critical to target them in SRH services Inter-sectoral collaboration between health, education and welfare services is key to delivering optimum ASRH services

3 Objectives: Conduct case studies in Honiara Town Council and Malaita to identify the real and perceived gaps in ASRH service delivery AND Explore feasibility of inter-sectoral collaboration between health, education, and youth welfare sectors in optimising service delivery for adolescents

4 What does the literature say? Proven and affordable ways of saving women and children’s lives (cf Lancet series) Investing in MNCH makes the health system work better! Addressing adolescent health a global priority Promise of inter-sectoral collaboration to advance ASRH: but lack of rigorous, systematic investigation

5 Study Setting Honiara Town Council Malaita province

6 Methods Mixed methods approach: tools developed in partnership Scoping review of literature Focus group discussions: 7 in Honiara and Auki, 55 participants Key informant interviews: Health (n=6), education (n=8), youth welfare (n=5) Knowledge, attitudes and competence surveys of health, education and welfare participants: 74

7 Key questions What are the current ASRH services? What are the gaps and obstacles to service delivery? What are attitudes to adolescent needs and who should be involved in service delivery? What are training needs? What are the opportunities for inter-sectoral collaboration between sectors?

8 Analysis Analysis of all data collected performed in Sydney, in consultation with all stakeholders Thematic analysis of KIIs and FGD transcripts and detailed analysis of KAP survey Interview and FGD transcripts and survey data entered into QSR Nvivo 9 subsequently coded for thematic analysis Key themes were established based on converging and triangulating the collected data

9 Barriers…and constraints Cultural norms, gender, religious beliefs Poorly educated youth, poor access to info Teacher, health worker & community attitudes Scarce human resources & lack of incentives Geographical isolation & weather Lack of funding, infrastructure & equipment Lack of policy framework

10 Quotes “Culture is a barrier. For example, a female cannot talk with a man privately or a young boy cannot talk with a woman privately. Culture is a barrier to taking the message to the young people” “The church...always puts judgment on young people” “Some of our denomination say that... if condom is promoted, we are encouraging young people to involve in sexual activities” “I think one of the barriers that I see here in regards to adolescent reproductive health is fear, teachers are afraid to give it because the parents might talk...” “The presence of cousins or ‘wantoks’ around... it makes difficult (to deliver service)...or not deliver services at all as confidentiality is priority” “Clinics run out of condoms etcetera.. so services cannot be provided” “Most health workers are lazy and they are blaming or thinking that other people will provide this service” “You can look into educating people, budgeting and specialised training, we might have proper networking; but when there is no sustainability, then all programs can fail”

11 KAP Survey: Education sector Is SRH taught in your school? Yes 84% Should SRH be taught? Yes 84% Who should teach SRH? Healthworkers 49%, Teachers 47% Comfortable discussing SRH : 76% Counseling students in SRH : 76% would refer to health centre 33% involved in counselling students with SRH problems SRH training : 42% received no training, 57% basic training Aware of SRH institutional policies : 70% unaware

12 KAP survey: Health sector Most trained in contraception, ANC, maternity care/delivery services, infertility consulting, and reproductive health education Only half had any refresher training No specific adolescent training 70% had provided recent contraceptive counselling to youth Limits on prescribing contraception to youth: 35% will not prescribe condoms 25% will not prescribe injectable 20% will not prescribe IUCD 15% will not prescribe OC pill HIV/STI counselling and testing: Majority >80% would do Comfortable discussing sexual behaviour wrt HIV with youth 95% Awareness of institutional policies on youth contraception: 0%

13 What ASRH services should be provided in SI? ‘Youth friendly’ clinics (rural & urban) with trained workers SRH education in schools ASRH counselling in schools/youth venues SRH education through churches/youth groups to capture out of school youth Elders & community should be involved

14 Who should provide ASRH services? Teachers Nurses and doctors in clinics Qualified life-skills trainers Pastors, ministers, church workers /volunteers Parents Chiefs and community leaders Women’s groups, youth groups Student peer groups

15 What interventions might work for ASRH? Partnership, partnership, partnership! Engage community gatekeepers Increase transparency & collaboration with stakeholders Regular dissemination of information and training Successful implementation of new school curriculum Establishment of youth centres, youth friendly clinics Further training & incentives for staff Changes in funding & policy for ASRH: “most NGOs, govt doing ‘projects’ on HIV, same program year after year”

16 Is this feasible?

17 What is a model Youth Friendly Service?

18 Inter-sectoral collaboration taking place? Education sector Most do not work with other providers Where partnerships exist action centres on info provision by NGOs, churches, healthworkers Health and youth welfare sectors Partnerships with Ministry of Health and NGOs common Health and youth sector workers develop relationships with key community leaders to facilitate programs for youth

19 Recommendations: Simple For Health Sector Technical seminars & workshops to increase knowledge of ASRH: incorporate “HEADSS” assessment and competency training Provide job descriptions for all health workers & include SRH functions Re-orientate established health services to be youth friendly For Education Sector Involve education providers in established SRH NGO/health partnerships Include SRH in education sector job descriptions/functions NGO and Welfare Sector Development of local ‘champions’/relationships with gatekeepers Promote youth clinics in the community For whole of government: Create national directory of NGOs to facilitate partnerships Expand and support network memberships (eg National Youth Alliance) Involve youth in committees/ peer education/designing health services

20 Recommendations: from Stakeholder forum At the national policy level: Embed a rights-based approach to the ASRH in all policy and service development initiatives relating to adolescents and young people Prepare a policy framework on the roles and responsibilities of the education, health and welfare sectors in ASRH counselling, referral and service provision Educate and inform religious groups & parents of the national population trends and the need for professional educators and health workers to discuss reproductive health issues with young people Provide programs to support parents to maintain their children’s enrolment in school.

21 Recommendations from Stakeholder forum For the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare: Provide information to all health workers identifying their professional responsibilities in responding to adolescents seeking help in SRH matters Clarify and disseminate policy in relation to the rights of adolescents in seeking contraception or information on ASRH issues Re-orientate established health services to be ‘youth friendly’ and roll out ‘youth friendly’ clinics in new areas with high youth populations Involve youth in committees/ peer education/designing health services Support the provision of ASRH education in schools, including to those at risk of leaving school early Provide ASRH education through community and youth groups to inform out-of- school youth Incorporate ASRH training into in-service training for doctors and nurses working in SRH Incorporate ASRH competencies into nursing/midwifery training and standards Identify potential for multi-sectoral training, technical seminars & workshops

22 Recommendations: from Stakeholder forum For the Ministry of Education Provide information to all education sector workers identifying their professional responsibilities in responding to adolescents seeking help in SRH matters Ensure that non-judgemental ASRH counselling is provided in schools Incorporate relevant SRH training into professional development for teachers Involve education providers in established SRH NGO/health partnerships Include SRH in education sector job descriptions and functions Incorporate adolescent-specific counselling skills into job descriptions for relevant teachers in middle school Engage in NGO and health sector partnerships in disseminating information on ASRH Broaden the Health Promoting Schools Policy to include ASRH Consider making ASRH an examinable subject in school curriculum

23 Recommendations: from Stakeholder forum For Inter-sectoral Collaborators Expand and support network memberships for young people Conduct joint community activities with youth that require their participation Engage in wider consultation with community stakeholders and government officials at the national policy level Collaborate between sectors in giving professional advice to communities Develop ‘champions’ for youth and facilitate relationships with gatekeepers Engage community ‘gatekeepers’ in processes of adapting to social change For international agencies and partnerships Provide technical support to training initiatives in ASRH, particularly around achieving competencies Provide technical support for policy and advocacy efforts in ASRH Ensure adequate supply and easy access to appropriate contraception in youth friendly and youth specific clinics


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