Worldwide, few advocacy programmes focus on fulfilling SRHR for adolescents through self-care. You(th) Care (2022-2025) will enable adolescents and youth aged 10-25 years, especially girls and other vulnerable adolescents, in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia to advocate for and practice self-care for their SRHR needs and to increase access to (digital) self-care services and commodities.
At an individual level, we will empower 325,000 adolescents and young people, increasing their SRHR and HIV knowledge and their agency to claim their SRHR.
In communities, we will shift social norms, working with key duty bearers that adolescents rely on including parents, community and religious leaders.
At the health system level, we will improve access to quality community and public SRHR services.
At the policy level, we will seek to improve and change policies and laws that have a detrimental impact on SRHR.
• 135 adolescents and young people will be trained as advocates;
• 300 decision-makers and duty bearer champions (including local and national government officials, health system decision-makers; religious and community leaders; parents and guardians);
• 99 public health service providers; 99 community health workers and 330 peer supporters.
As final beneficiaries, 325,000 adolescents and young people (10-25 years) in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia will benefit from improved laws and policies, expansion of available family planning, self-care, HIV prevention and treatment services and commodities, and the availability of innovative digital information services.
In East and Southern Africa, adolescents and young people (10-24 years) represent 33% of the population, which will likely double by 2050. Of the 12.1 million vulnerable adolescents' girls aged 15-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, 62% have an unmet need for modern contraception. Between 28-41% of young women aged 20-24 give birth before the age of 18. AIDS is the leading cause of death among women, and 80% of new adolescent HIV infections are among girls aged 10-19 years . Adolescent girls, in particular, face HIV and STIs, unsafe abortions, risky pregnancies and gender based violence. Archaic laws, policies and practices criminalise aspects of adolescent sexuality which undermines their access to HIV and SRH care.
You(th) Care partners
You(th) Care will be implemented by 9 consortium partners:
The AIDS and Rights Alliance for southern Africa (ARASA)
Ambassador for Youth and Adolescent Reproductive Health Programme (AYARHEP)
Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF)
Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa (NAYA)
The Network of Young People Living with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania (NYP+)
Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA)
Self-care and the HIV response
Self-care is important for adolescents and young people: it improves their agency over their own SRHR, particularly for those who are excluded or face challenges to access services through health providers (e.g. due to poverty, distance, lack of privacy and out of fear of stigma). Self-care is a sustainable and cost-effective approach to achieve universal coverage for SRHR, reduce unwanted teen pregnancies and adolescent birth rate, decrease adolescent HIV infections, increase adolescents living with HIV on treatment and realise a world without AIDS by 2030.