Plan International is implementing the Young Health Program in the informal settlement in Nairobi including Kibera and Mathare slums. The AstraZeneca funded programme works to help young people aged 10-24 to take control of their health, especially to combat long-term conditions such as cancers, diabetes, respiratory and heart diseases, and mental ill health. These are often called non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The programme provides information and resources on the prevention of NCDs and on improving sexual and reproductive health targeted at young people and work with local schools and organizations to develop community events – such as drama, debates, competitions, school fairs, fun days – that build awareness of NCD risks.
Community role models are trained to become spokespeople and Peer Educators to conduct outreach activities with other young people. The programme works with Peer Educators and local stakeholders (community leaders, teachers, health service providers, health workers) to raise awareness and provide support; to introduce youth friendly services in existing health facilities; and to advocate for government policies and services that are responsive to the health risks and rights of young people.
The programme has since recruited new Peer Educators who are expected to deliver the YHP health messages to communities and school. Being a new cohort of Peer Educators, it is greatly warranted that they be trained on content delivery to optimize the programme’s impact.
I take a particular pride in being part of the trainers who have been invited to train the Peer Educators and sharpen their delivery skills. The training will be essential also in boosting the overall confidence of the Peer Educators especially in responding to issues that might emerge while in the field. I am looking forward to subsequent training and evaluation of the overall impact of the training.