Eastern Cape Department of Health Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (AYFS) Support Project

Eastern Cape Department of Health Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (AYFS) Support Project: A project supported by the German Development Cooperation via the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Duration of Project/Study: 30 months (1 June 2015 – 30 November 2017)
Start of Project/Study Year/Month: 1 June 2015

The project is aimed at strengthening adolescent and youth friendly services in the Eastern Cape sub-districts of Umzimvubu (in Alfred Nzo Health District), and Nyandeni (in OR Tambo Health District).

The project emerged from the following process: In 2013/2014, GIZ and UNFPA jointly supported the ECDoH to conduct an assessment of AYFS in the Eastern Cape. Based on these assessment results, the ECDoH requested technical support from GIZ to improve access and quality of SRHR services for adolescents and youth in selected districts. In December 2014, a workshop was held to finalise the Terms of Reference, followed in February 2015 by a joint technical assessment of bids. The contract was awarded to the Health Focus/Enhancing Care consortium in May 2015. The official start of the project was 1 June 2015. The ECDoH are our major implementation partners, but we also work closely with multi stakeholders working in this field, for example, Restless Development, and UNFPA.

Achievements to date (September 2016) include:

  • A AYFS literature review
  • Rapid assessment and swot analysis of AYFS in Umzimvubu and Nyandeni
  • Stakeholder and planning meeting on strengthening AYFS held in August 2015
  • A Signed MOA and implementation plan
  • Baseline assessment of AYFS completed in Nyandeni and Umzimvubu
  • Capacity development (training courses) of clinical and non-clinical health care workers in our target sub-districts of Nyandeni (OR Tambo) and Umzimvubu (Alfred Nzo)

Key findings of the baseline assessment include the following:

  • AYFS Standards are generally not implemented in primary health care facilities in the target sub-districts
  • Umzimvubu does slightly better than Nyandeni with regards to the achievement of AYFS standards, but Nyandeni was scored higher by youth in terms of ratings of quality of care, confidentiality and helpfulness of staff.
  • Many Health workers do not accept adolescent sexuality even though they may provide sexual and reproductive health services
  • Prevalent belief amongst health workers that young boys should be warned about the ‘dangers’ of masturbation
  • The need for parental consent was sometimes used as the reason for refusing SRH services to young adolescents. A lack of understanding of the legal framework governing the provision of
  • SRH services to young people is evident
  • There is a lack of training on AYFS for health care providers in Umzimvubu and Nyandeni
  • At facility level, there is a dearth of youth appropriate adolescent SRH information for adolescents

Numerous capacity building activities have been conducted. The table below illustrates capacity building trainings implemented up to early September 2016:

Course NameDateTarget GroupNo. of ParticipantsTotal
AYFS Implementer's 5 Day Course 11-15July 2016Clinical Health Workers from Umzimvubu and Nyandeni28
15-19 Aug 2016Professional Nurses from Umzimvubu and Nyandeni29
AYFS Orientation Courses21-23 June 2016Health Promoters (Support Staff)26
10-12 Aug 2016Managers (Clinical Staff Umzimvubu)29
23-25 Aug 2016Managers (Clinical Staff Nyandeni)19
6-8 Sep 2016Umzimvubu Operational Managers36
Altitude Change Pilot Courses10-11 May 2016LCON Nurse Educators22
20-21 July 2016Professional Nurses from Umzimvubu and Nyandeni, plus 4 LCON Nurse educators20
17-18 Aug 2016Professional Nurses from Umzimvubu and Nyandeni24
30-31 Aug 2016Professional Nurses from Umzimvubu and Nyandeni34

The way forward:

  • IEC material on Adolescent and youth health and sexual and reproductive health and rights is currently being developed (Posters and pamphlets)
  • Further trainings
  • A Youth Survey with out of school and in school youth is currently underway in the target sub-districts to gain more information around adolescent SRH needs and further shape future interventions
  • Capacity development and Demand creation activities supported by Restless Development are  commencing as of 1 October 2016

Donors: GIZ