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Samburu youths customize the National Youth Friendly Services

Youth led organizations in Samburu County have launched a customized Youth Friendly Health Service guideline to encourage more youths and adolescents to seek medication in health facilities.

The document dubbed ‘Samburu County customized guidelines for provision of adolescent and youth friendly services’ was drafted by 22 youth organizations in Samburu County in collaboration with the Samburu County Health Department, Department of Gender and the Department of Youth.

Youths dressed in Samburu traditional attire present the customized National Youth Friendly Services document for signing and validation by the Samburu County Department of Health. Photo by Robert Githu

Speaking during the launch and validation of the document at the Allamano grounds in Maralal town, Network Empowering Samburu Transformation (NEST) Executive Director Sylvana Lesuuda said that the reason of customizing the National Youth Friendly Services (NYFS) to the Samburu guideline document is because many young people in Samburu County do not seek medical services in health facilities because of unique cultural factors such as moranism.

“As Samburu youth we felt that we were not fully considered in the National Youth Friendly Services guideline and so we came together and incorporated our beliefs and culture and drafted a customized youth friendly service for us and we believe it will encourage our youth to seek medication in health facilities,” Lesuuda said.

Samburu County Deputy Director for Medical Services Samuel Lemooge said that the customized NYFS is aimed at addressing the issues affecting the youth and adolescents in Samburu County by ensuring health services are friendly.

“The youth have very poor health seeking behavior because they prefer traditional medicine, but with such a document that also encourages doctors and nurses to offer youth friendly services we expect more of them to feel comfortable while visiting health facilities and antenatal services, vaccinations, immunizations and safe deliveries will be on the rise,” he said.

Lemooge noted that the document will be distributed in all hospitals and health facilities in Samburu County for implementation.

Also in attendance was Samburu Deputy Governor Julius Leseeto, Maralal Assistant County Commissioner George Murage, MCAs and various heads of departments.

By Robert Githu

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