In Access Now Part 1 we looked at what Access is, and what does it mean to youth.
We ended off with a question. We asked if this was realistic and if so how could it be achieved.
Let’s break it down…
There are various barriers which prohibits youth from accessing conventional health institutions, I will list a few below but it is not limited to this list:
- The operating hours of a conventional heath facility is not convenient for youth. The opening and closing hours of most facilities correspond with that of school, colleges, university and work.
- The location of a health facility plays a major role as not all facilities are easily accessible especially in rural communities, overcrowding which results in long waiting periods, services provided are often not youth friendly and often not kept private and confidential.
In Part 1 I shared some statistics regarding HIV/AIDS among youth and how important access is.
Is it realistic then to expect that conventional health facilities are the only option, absolutely not, conventional health facilities cater to a wide range of people not only youth, due to budget cuts and restraints, inadequate amount of staff per facility we understand why it is not meeting the needs to young people.
There are several non-governmental organisations, and civil society organisations across South Africa who provide health services to vulnerable groups in South Africa including youth to assist with the challenges we are facing. Salesian Life Choices is one of them.
In the Part 3 I will share with you some of the things we did to ensure our service is youth Friendly, current, fresh and up to date.
Picture source: https://www.pexels.com/