It is estimated that approximately only 50% of the youth do not use health facilities due to lack of youth friendly services. Many youths fear to discuss SRH issues due to stigma from the health staff, others fear to disclose their conditions to due to traditional factors.
Marie Stopes Uganda has set up 2 youth friendly spaces in Kampala and Tororo district with the aim of attracting youth to receive information and SRH services like contraceptives use, condoms and STI management. The facilities are set up in a way that promotes an atmosphere of relaxation and are fully equipped with games like table tennis, quizzes, reading materials, education videos and refreshments.
The youth spaces are meant to engage youth through interaction with peer educator counselors and youth volunteers trained in providing youth friendly services.
At the youth space, learning activities on primary preventive approaches like contraceptive use to prevent unintended pregnancies and HIV/AIDS are done with the participation of youth themselves which allows expression of their views on issues that affect them.
This platform equips youth with correct knowledge and shapes a positive attitude towards health choices not limited to safe sex practices but also life skills and a positive shift in health seeking behaviors.
Youth Friendly spaces are a popular way of passing knowledge to youth which eventually improves their demand for SRH services and is credited most for the friendly interaction that allows active participation of both service provider and youth participants.