After three weeks of vigorous development of Mombasa County Adolescent and Young People (AYP) Strategy on HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health (2018-2023), officers from the County Department of Health together with other departments, youth, Sub-county Administration and stakeholders met for a validation of the document.

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The first of its kind in Kenya and for Mombasa adolescents and youth, the strategy will provide guidance on standardization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) information and services provided to AYP.

It will address HIV response from testing, care and treatment, viral suppression and services for SRH needs including STIs, Gender Based Violence (GBVs), early pregnancies, abortions, child marriages, unemployment and retention in schools among other issues that have been affecting young people in the County.

 It will also guide budgeting and planning for adolescents’ health and further highlight the roles of County departments, leadership and other stakeholders in achieving its success.

Speaking during the valuation, County Chief Officer for Public Health Aisha Abubakar together with County Director for Health Dr Shem Patta said "the document will be key in health programming and has put the County in the right track of achieving integration of various health services as well as increasing efficiency in health service delivery."

For the first time, they said, they are bringing together the challenges of adolescents and providing a tailored solution for them.

They appreciated UNICEF for funding the process, LVCT for providing the technical support and stakeholders from NACC, youth advisory council, DSW, NASCOP, FHOK, youth organizations, partners working with adolescents among other partners for their involvement in its development.

According to Mombasa County AIDs Strategic Plan 2016-2020 HIV prevalence among adolescents and young people stands at 9 per cent compared to the County prevalence of 7 per cent while the rates of STIs and teen pregnancies have gone up across the six Sub Counties.

Participants at the meeting on Thursday reviewed the draft document before agreeing to plan for its launch later on next month.