Youth Acess to Health Services and the stigma

Young people are still facing the problem of stigma and discrimination, when it comes to accessing health services the they need. This mostly comes from. Health care providers who turn to discriminate because they consider young girls as too young to request for contraceptives. The stigma is too much. Access to key information on health services available for young people. Is seen as opening the ideas of having sex. This is very common with the use of condoms most young people, do not know the systematic use of condoms as health provider are hesitant to sharing this information.
How can we make access friendly for young people ?

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Hi Melony_Joseph

Thank you for your question and welcome to HCDExchange Community Learning Forum.

Here are some of my thoughts on the subject of provider bias.

SRH providers play an important role in a youth’s contraception journey; in fact, they can literally make or break the youth experience just as you described above in your question, ie, either by making the youth feel accepted and supported or dismissed or judged. According to one of IDEOs project, designing for and with girls, in order to support girls to get the SRH guidance they need, you have to “assess whether the current providers need improved knowledge and tactics or whether their biases and beliefs need to shift.

The Beyond Bias project, for instance, identified 11 key global drivers of provider bias based on a comprehensive literature review and formative research process involving 900 providers, youth and community leaders in Burkina Faso, Pakistan and Tanzania. The project implementers suggest that understanding and contextualising what drives provider bias (defined as negative attitudes or beliefs that manifest in judgmental, non-empathetic, and/or low-quality provider behaviors), will help you tailor the solution to your specific target audience thus removing provider-related barriers youth face when attempting to access sexual and reproductive care.

Other practical ways of dealing with this issue includes building a website aimed at providing SRH information, services and products directly to young people with the option of providing referrals for further SRH counselling services. A great example of this is the One2One Kenya website which is meant for young people aged 10 to 25 in Kenya. The website contains sex-positive, pleasure-based information, tips and personal stories young people can relate to. It is interactive and provides a platform to refer young people to additional services that meet their needs.

All in all, provider bias is a thorny issue that requires us to empathize with SRH providers, in general, because once we understand their motivations for holding back SRH information, products and services from youth, then we can work collaboratively to design solutions that will be sustainable and easily adopted by all parties involved.