) The United Nations Population Fund and the Ministry of Health organized in Vientiane Capital on July 8 a handover ceremony for a mobile clinic van designed to deliver youth-friendly services to help youth gain access to sexual and reproductive health services, as well as to support providers and peers to overcome barriers when dealing with young people.
The van is a very innovative, friendly solution for the unlimited needs that are necessary in terms of health services and care for adolescents. It reaches youth wherever they are to break the obstacles of distance and accessibility.
Equitable, accessible, acceptable, appropriate, and effective services will have big returns when provided to youth and adolescents, especially in conditions of vulnerabilities such as young workers in factories.
Next to early marriage and early pregnancies in the Lao PDR, school drop (42% amongst adolescent girls) leads to non qualified jobs in uncertain conditions where women and girls willing to engage into sexual relationships have difficulties in negotiating safe sexual practices and have limited knowledge to make informed choices for protection and contraception.
Since 2017, UNFPA and the Ministry of Health have been collaborating to integrate adolescent and youth-friendly services in health facilities around the country.
The Vientiane Youth Centre has been taking an important role in providing technical support to built capacities of health providers and support the training on how to conduct mobile outreach.
Last year, thanks to all the joint efforts, 4 factories – Hi-tech Laos Apparel, Daewoo, Venture International (Lao) and Be cooperate Export – signed a partnership to join this awareness raising initiative.
Delivering sexual and reproductive health services in the workplace setting has proven to be an effective strategy to reach young people in sectors that employ a high number of them.
Last year, the mobile clinic services delivered by the Vientiane Youth Centre had reached over 3,200 workers from the garment factories in Vientiane.
Results showed that this particular service is truly on high demand among the young workers and should stay accessible everywhere, anytime.
Furthermore, clinical outreach in workplace settings can also be provided in a cost-effective way through health insurance plans that are co-funded by employers.
Source: Lao News Agency