Strengthening access to quality comprehensive health education in The Gambia
Youth make up 32% of the population in The Gambia, but observations indicate that they lack access to quality information and services on preventing and protecting themselves against sexual and reproductive health infections and unwanted pregnancies. The Gambia has comprehensive policy frameworks about health education in place to empower adolescents to make safe and informed choices and to exercise their rights, but there is limited information about how these policies are being implemented. There is a need to generate evidence on the delivery and impact of existing comprehensive health education and contribute to its improvement.
The overall aim of this study is to understand the underlying factors that affect the implementation of comprehensive health education for adolescents in and out of school. The project will be implemented in Kanifing, the local government area with the country’s densest population. Multi-stage sampling and a mixed-methods approach will inform the design and implementation of a package of interventions. This package will test effective means of engaging with relevant government authorities, civil society, non-government service providers, youth organizations, and key community stakeholders, to open up dialogues around sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The study is expected to identify and address the factors and limitations of comprehensive health education and its institutionalization in community and school-based programs to improve access to quality health information and related services.