Strategic Framework & Plan of Action for Adolescent & Youth Sexual & Reproductive Health

FCH Forum - January 2009 PAHO assisted in the development of Strategic Framework and Plan of Action for Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health in Trinidad and Tobago.

The technical working group on sexual and reproductive health was formed in  Trinidad and Tobago in January 2009 and comprises members of the public health sector, NGO’s which focus on sexual and reproductive health as well as members of international agencies including UNFPA and PAHO.

The aim of this SRH Technical Working Group is to:

  • develop synergy among  partners within the Ministry of Health for the         coordination of the delivery of SRH services with common interests;
  • create and environment for sharing best practices and approaches for the delivery of comprehensive SRH services;
  • support resource mobilization to support the Ministry of Health’s vision for the delivery of SRH services.

As a part of its mandate of addressing sexual and reproductive health, the technical working group determined that the young and adolescent population should be a key focus of its activities. The technical working group therefore held a two day forum which would serve to identify adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health needs and act as a catalyst for addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and youth through a focus on strategic and comprehensive approaches.

The objectives of the forum were:

  • To create awareness of structural , social and behavioral  factors affecting adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health in Trinidad and Tobago
  • To identify the facilitating factors and challenges in addressing Adolescent Sexual and reproductive health
  • To maximize the strategic input of adolescents and young people on these issues
  • To identify the immediate programmatic needs to adequately address the structural , social and behavioural factors affecting adolescent sexual and reproductive services.
  • To propose a strategic framework and plan of action to address factors related to adolescent sexual and reproductive health services.

The first day of the forum focused mainly on the engagement and participation of adolescents, young people and representatives of youth serving organizations in the identification of structural social and behavioral factors which impact youth and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Trinidad and Tobago .  The first day of the forum also placed an emphasis on the contributions of adolescents and young persons in determining the key strategies and actions that should be used to address the factors identified.

Following some technical  presentations participants engaged in a group icebreaker and were divided into four groups . Each group, with the guidance of a facilitator addressed one of the following four themes and was required to put forward recommended actions to address the issues identified in their work groups.

1)    Adolescent access to Sexual and reproductive health services

2)    The legal framework and policy environment around sexual and

       reproductive health services

3)    Communication and counseling adolescents around health issues

4)    Focus on reaching poor and vulnerable young people.

On the second day Participants were then divided into four working groups corresponding with the four working group themes of the previous day and were asked to produce a strategy and action plan framework utilizing the strategy and action planning template provided.

The groups then presented each of their four frameworks to members of the forum present. These presentations provided a base for further discussion related to each of the four thematic issues.