8 October 2020 | Informations
In Niger, as in most Sahelian countries, young people, particularly girls and young women, face enormous difficulties in accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. The Project JADES 2 has been working in Niger since 2016 to strengthen and promote sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people. After more than a year of implementation of the second phase of the project, which started in 2019, let’s take a look to the changes that have taken place in the nine Integrated Health Centres (CSI) and Youth Friendly Centres, partners of the project in Niamey and Maradi.
Focus on the CSI of Gamkallé, in Niamey
The Gamkallé Health Centre (CSI) is located in the city centre of Niamey. However, it receives few adolescents and young people in regard to its geographical location: this observation was made during the participatory diagnosis of the structures carried out at the beginning of the year within the project. Often poorly informed about their rights, they do not come in large numbers to benefit from SRH services. Aware of these challenges, one of the commitments of the JADES 2 project, shared by all the managers of the supported structures, is to improve the reception and orientation of young people and adolescents towards the Family Planning unit of the centre.
“Over the past few months, the strengthening of communication between community leaders and young people, initiated by the centres with the support of Solthis and Lafia Matassa, has been bearing fruit. This is the case in the CSI of Gamkallé, where this interactive approach is being developed through the organisation of meetings with young people and community leaders, in order to take into account their needs and orientation in terms of sexual and reproductive health“. Dr Balarabé, Medical Manager of the JADES 2 project.
Assia Bernazou, an engaged health professional, close to young people and teenagers
Assia, is working as a health professional at the CSI in Gamkallé in Niger and is engaged in improving the sexual and reproductive health of young people and adolescents. Assia Bernazou’s commitment to the Family Planning Unit at CSI Gamkallé is inspiring. Because of her strong involvement during the CSI’s evaluation and during the elaboration of the roadmap of its structure, her objectives are clear and are perfectly in line with those targeted by the project in terms of strengthening the care of young people and adolescents in sexual and reproductive health.
When asked why she is involved in this difficult context, Assia answers unequivocally: “these young people need us, and it is my job to help them”. Assia doesn’t stop at the essential action of taking care of the patients who arrive at the Gamkallé IHC. She participates in the centre’s awareness-raising activities, in contact with young people who gather in the surrounding neighbourhood to inform them about their rights and SRH services.
At the Gamkallé CSI, the regular notification of the number of young people received in the Family Planning unit is improving. “Since the application of the communication approach, I am firmly convinced that we will boost the use of our services by young people,” says Assia. Indeed, thanks to the JADES 2 project, the frequency of use of the Centre’s Family Planning service by young people and adolescents is increasing.
“Some young people have in turn become Ambassadors and raise awareness among their fellow young people. The Ambassadors are in fact at the heart of the JADES 2 project and are the focal points for raising awareness about SRHR, for which they are trained. It is through this creation of a direct link with young people, to bring them to the health centres, that progress will be made”. Tiade Laurent, Head of the JADES II project.