By Leilah Baale
Hoima District has passed a resolution to have youths’ representation on Health Unit Management Committees (HUMC’s), but also have free monthly youth days at health centres.
Jackson Chekweko, ED Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) while addressing masses at various occasions says that effective youth representation and participation in HUMC’s can create opportunities for young people to influence, shape, design, and contribute to policy and the development of health services and programs at local and national levels.
Allan Armstrong, RHU Gender and Youth Officer for RHU Promise project says that in October 2020, through engagements with the RHU – Youth Action Movement (YAM), five sub-counties in Hoima district were able to petition the Hoima district local government in fulfilment of RHU’s mission which stipulates to have;
“a Uganda where everyone’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights are fulfilled and protected without discrimination”.
RHU brought together young people from different sub-counties in Hoima District, to familiarize them with concepts of youth involvement and participation at the decision-making level in the context of sexual and reproductive health and also discuss their roles in the promotion of Youth Friendly services.
RHU aimed to;
- To build youth councilors and other sub-county leaders’ confidence and understanding of the importance of youth involvement /participation in decision making, their roles in building safer communities with access to better SRHR information and services with young people as key actors.
- Support young people’s (positive) attitude to influence decisions in democratic processes and to increase their involvement in the development of inclusive and peaceful societies as they advance to priorities their SRHR.
Jimmy Busobozi, a peer educator who represented the YAM president, says the petitions were handed to each of the five sub-county council speakers to present and deliberate upon during the subsequent council sessions.
As a result of this engagement all five (5) Sub-counties of Buhanik, Kitoba, Kyabigambire, Buseruka, and Kigorobya) in the project catchment areas have moved motions to create positions for Youth representatives at Health Unit Management Committees.
Kirungi Kadiri, LCV chairperson for Hoima District says the district’s objective is to have all the 13 sub counties with youth representation on the HUMC’s by mid-2022.
The engagements were enabled by the RHU Promise project, supported by the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA).
The author of this story was trained by Advance Family Planning (AFP) media advocacy team