Young ambassadors of adolescent friendly health services
Aasha and Bhagwandev of Saptari are change agents in their community. Aasha (16) and Bhagwandev (17) of Launiya VDC of Saptari are the representatives of Adolescents Friendly Reproductive Health Service available in the health post of the Village Development Committee. The Adolescents friendly health service is available in the VDC health post from 1-2 PM for six days a week (except Saturday).
Aasha and Bhagwandev as representatives of the service, provide information about the service to different child clubs of the district. They make announcements of the services available in the health post in community and district level events. In such events, they also make adolescents understand about when to use such services. Aasha and Bhagwandev who aspire to become a ANM (auxilliary nurse and midwife) and a teacher respectively want to continue their role as representative in the days to come as they believe information is the key to reduce health complications and problems adolescents face.
Aashaa and Bhagwandev became the part of AFS after they attended an orientation session on the Adolescent Friendly Health Service in their child club. After the orientation, the social mobilizer of the VDC formed a Quality Improvement Team (QIT) where Nisha and Bhagwandev were selected as representatives.
What is adolescent friendly health services (AFS) ?
AFS is a health service available in health posts where an hour is especially allocated for adolescents where they can discuss about their problems relating to reproductive health with the health-post in-charge in private. It is a government provision to provide this facility to adolescents but it had not been implemented. Our adolescent sexual and resproductive health program focuses on AFS implementation.
It also highlights the critical role that adolescents themselves can play, in conjunction with committed adults, to contribute to their own health and well-being.
AFS provides a space for adolescents to discuss about their reproductive health which they can't discuss in public. The time in the health post has hence been allocated for 1-2 PM as it aims to bring adolescents from schools, during their recess time.
*After Bhagwandev and Nisha have become the representatives of QIT, the number of adolescents visiting health post for reproductive health services has increased in the VDC. Before the formation of QIT, only married people would visit the health post for such services. However these days, many unmarried girls and boys reach the health posts for these services.