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SUSTAIN improves adolescent friendly services at six Uganda hospitals

On March 2-3, 2016, USAID/SUSTAIN conducted a two-day collaborative learning session with 36 healthcare workers from six hospitals (Mbale, Lira, Kabale, Jinja, Moroto and Gulu) involved in a pilot to establish adolescent friendly healthcare services (AFHS). Six staff from each of the hospitals were provided the opportunity to learn from each other, particularly on how to establish AFHS at the hospital level, generate demand for adolescent services, and provide them in a way friendly enough to meet the unique needs of adolescents. 

For example, Gulu Regional Referral Hospital shared that their community health department is working with the district to create awareness over radio stations on the availability of adolescent services at the hospital. As well, Lira Regional Referral Hospital has stepped up friendliness of services by holding discussions with adolescents who arrive at the clinic to gather their ideas on how services can be improved. 

The six hospitals are being supported by USAID/SUSTAIN to become model centers for the provision of AFHS. The goal is for other hospitals in Uganda to learn from these six with the hope that these services will contribute to national efforts of improving adolescent health in the country.

Facilitator reinforces the importance of partnerships with District Health Educators

The facilitator reinforces the importance of partnerships with District Health Educators to create awareness on the availability of AFHS

Practices shared by the six hospitals to improve the provision of adolescent friendly healthcare services

  • Displaying posters at all entry points into the hospitals to announce availability of services
  • Using continuous professional development sessions to sensitize all hospital staff on provision of friendly services
  • Creating partnerships with district health educators to enhance demand creation
  • Strengthening intra-facility referrals to increase utilization of AFHS
  • Using health education sessions at all service points to sensitize patients on availability of the services


Results on key indicators for the implementation of AFHS at the six hospitals, Oct 2015-Jan 2016

297 healthcare workers have been trained on the provision of adolescent health services

4,259 adolescents have attended the six adolescent centers, all were tested for HIV

49 of 56 identified HIV-positive were enrolled in HIV care

332 adolescent girls were provided with family planning services

188 adolescent boys were provided with circumcision services

63 adolescents were identified with mental health problems (due to substance abuse) and linked to care