The delivery of Youth friendly HIV testing and Counselling (HTC) services: a study of Mombasa Youth Centres
Shikuku, Caroline K
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The Adolescent Reproductive Health and Development Policy responds to concerns about the youths raised in the National Population Policy for Sustainable Development, the National Reproductive Health Strategy and the Children'S Act (2001) and other national and international declarations and conventions on the health and development of youths. The policy hence intends to bring adolescent health issues into the mainstream of Health and Development. To facilitate the successful implementation of Adolescent Reproductive Health and Development policy, the Plan of Action was developed to increase commitment, partnership, networking and collaboration as well as resource mobilization efforts among stakeholders. It is the mandate of Ministry of Health to' deliver quality, affordable healthcare to all citizens of Kenya. Various documents have outlined plans towards these goals and these include the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2005- 2010) and the Kenya National Aids Strategic Plan (KNASP, 2005-2010). These two policy documents also form the basis of all HIV prevention and care of programmes including HIC. Due to the many advantages, it is highly recommended that all HTC providers incorporate other health services into primary HTC and vise versa. This relationship will not only lead to early detection ofHIV / AIDS but also better health care for youths living positively. Some of the services that will benefit from this strategy include: Family Planning, Tuberculosis, Prevention of Mother to Child Treatment, STI and STD testing and treatment, antiretroviral therapy and post rape care. In the delivery of HTC services in the Youth Centers, the minimum conditions set by the Ministry of Health should be met in order to 'call the HTC Youth Centre 'youth friendly'. These minimum conditions include: affordability and accessibility, safe and basic range of services, privacy and confidentiality, provider competence and attitude, reliability and sustainability and an inbuilt monitoring and evaluation system. The broad objective of the study was to establish the pattern of the delivery of Youth Friendly HTC services in Mombasa Youth Centers using the targeted approach and determine whether they met the minimum requirements set by the Ministry of Health. Specifically it was to fmd out the gaps that still exist in the delivery of youth friendly services, identify strategies that can be used to fill these gaps and identify the training needs of the service providers and youths in relation to the provision of youth friendly services. The study used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data. The study used semi structured questionnaires, key informants and Focus Group Discussions to interview a total of 80 respondents. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS while qualitative data was analyzed by noting down themes and analyzing them. From the findings, we can say that the youth HTC centers are youth friendly, as they meet most of the minimum requirements set though not 100% perfect and the minimum requirements defer from one youth centre to another. Some of the gaps identified were service delivery related like few service providers, restriction of service delivery to particular times and days and IEC not focusing on broad issues. In addition to these gaps, other included: policies being in place but not being fully implemented hence affecting sustainability, socio-cultural influence, shortage of consumables, and restriction of service delivery to specific times and days. Targeted approach was preferred because it meets the needs and rights of adolescents, less waiting time, youths get all services at one stop and they feel appreciated in an environment that is private and confidential.