Kenya has a progressive policy and legal environment on sexual and reproductive health and rights. It has signed and ratified key international and regional instruments and developed national laws and policies for protection, promotion, fulfillment and respect of youth sexual and reproductive health and rights.
However, access to comprehensive youth friendly services remain inadequate with only 10% facilities in Kenya and in Nairobi County providing comprehensive youth friendly services.
The Ministry of Health launched the National Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health policy 2015, National Guidelines for Provision of Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services 2016 and the National Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Policy Implementation Framework 2018 to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights status of young people in Kenya
Inadequate access to comprehensive youth friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights services and Information in Nairobi County for youth and adolescents still remains an issue.
Y-ACT youth advocates, together with the County Health team of Nairobi had a 3 day retreat from 3rd to 5th October at Shuhan Hotel Thika which sought to bring together the task force to develop content for the Nairobi County Adolescent Youth Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (AYSRHR) framework. This was as a result of the youth advocates from Nairobi County having previously lobbied for the county government to put in place a framework that will guide the implementation of SRH services for adolescents and youth.
The framework development retreat was attended by: Promotive Preventive services Deputy Director Dr Carol Ngunu; Adolescent Health Coordinator; Faith Kiruthi, County Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator: Alice Kimani, Gender and Psychosocial Coordinator Rose Makabana, Reproductive Health Coordinator; Esther Kiambati, Coordinator Policy and Planning; Esther Waruinge, Nairobi City County Nurse; Flora Muriuki amongst others.
At the end of the three days, the objective of the meeting was achieved as a zero draft of the framework had been developed with meaningful youth engagement being a main feature. The Youth Advisory Council was also added to the organogram of the coordination and governance team of the framework, which puts the youth at the top where key decisions are made.
‘’I am impressed by the kind of leadership that the young people in this room are showing… These Young people also told us that they will come up with a score card to rate how we are engaging them, we are waiting to be held accountable and also to learn from them… This framework will offer a great opportunity for the county to implement its AYSRH activities in a more coordinated manner. The framework will also be used to mobilize resources for the county and lobby the County Assembly to allocate specific budget lines within the health budget for adolescent and young people’s sexual reproductive health’’ said Dr. Carol Ngunu.