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Mainstreaming youth friendly services

The health needs of young people often differ from those of the general population, including in terms of sexual and reproductive health. It is necessary that health care professionals set aside personal values and provide them with non-judgemental health information and services in a comfortable and confidential manner.

UNFPA is supporting the Child and Adolescent Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to develop the country's first National Health Strategy and Action Plan for Young People (2015-2019). This will provide clear actions and targets in the areas of sexual and reproductive health (including emergency settings), mental health, nutrition, gender-based violence, substance use, and healthy lifestyles. Youth representatives and young health professionals are involved in both its formulation and eventually, its implementation.

UNFPA is supporting the MoPH to establish a national adolescent sexual and reproductive health task force,with similar bodies in the provinces, to monitor the strategy's implementation and coordinate related programmes.

In 2010, a UNFPA-supported assessment of 24 health facilities in five provinces (Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Faryab and Nangarhar) examined whether reproductive health services were accessible to, and supportive of young people. The findings framed recommendations to the MoPH and non-governmental partners on how to make such services both accessible and appropriate to the cultural and technical context.

To achieve improved health services for young people, UNFPA provided training to 155 health workers on the provision of youth friendly services in partnership with the MoPH. Furthermore, UNFPA is also supporting the MoPH to develop Youth Friendly Services Guidelines and Standards to integrate youth friendly services in the Basic Package of Health Services. UNFPA supports a pilot youth friendly services clinic in Kabul which provide services to young people who are at higher risk of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unintended pregnancy.