The Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) has the capacity of creating an adolescent inclusive and responsive wellbeing system, which has been lacking in the services offered in the country.
A Gender expert, Dr Lilian Cheskaw, said the expansion of UHC for adolescents should focus on preventive and promoting health services through the integrated delivery of modern technology, such as social media because the majority have access to it.
She was speaking on Wednesday during an interview at Egerton University.
The UHC is one of the four agendas for the Jubilee government and it involves the expansion of health services that include school health services, e-health and maternal health care, which offers free services to all maternity cases in government hospitals.
Dr. Cheskaw said adolescents living with HIV and Aids represent a vulnerable group because they experience issues that affect people living with HIV, but also those that affect their age mates as they struggle with physical and emotional changes in their maturing bodies.
She stated that UHC should seek to make affordable interventions for adolescents, which includes pre-service training for the health personnel in order to cover the needs of their vulnerable clients without being judgmental or moralists.
She said that services should be expanded beyond sexual and reproductive health because they require services that include holistic well-being, including nutritional support, life skills training and referrals.
The Gender expert stated that adolescents were a unique group because they are less empowered than adults to claim their rights in health services delivery, but have greater capacity than children to seek healthcare independent of their parents.
However, she said their limited resources hinder their access to healthcare, especially if they are expected to reveal to parents or guardians the reasons they need to visit a healthcare provider.
She added that adolescents living with HIV and Aids tend to have extra health care needs and require more financial support, which the enlarged UHC has the capacity of offering them.
By Veronica Bosibori