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A Report on the Mini-Participatory Learning and Action Exercise in Zambia

Studies of urban family planning in sub-Saharan Africa have shown that reproductive health services are inadequate and often not available to youth. Even when available, Zambian youth rarely used the services because they often encountered a number of barriers when seeking reproductive health services. Consequently, their use of such services is low. This study was conducted in anticipation of the launch of a youth reproductive health (“youth-friendly” services and “youth corners”) component supported by Service Expansion and Technical Support (SEATS) in two government health clinics in Lusaka: the Bauleni and Matero reference clinics. These two clinics already had youth-friendly clubs, but they were perceived as needing resources and additional training.

The specific objectives of this baseline study were to: (1) gain a better understanding of the dynamics of youth reproductive health needs from their own perspective, as well as from the perspective of other stakeholders, such as Neighborhood Health Committee members, health service providers, members of youth-friendly clubs based at health centers, and the community, including parents and youth; (2) better understand the characteristics of existing service sites in Lusaka; (3) provide a forum for community mobilization, creating awareness, and developing a common vision in preparation for launching the project; and (4) provide information to improve the youth friendly project implementation.

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