With 61% of the Zimbabwean population aged below 25 years, and one fifth of the population aged 15-24 years old, young people’s (YP) health is central to the country’s development. However, the existing ways in which sexual and reproductive health services are delivered to adolescents are not youth-friendly. Young people are not taking up important services like HIV testing, contraception or voluntary male circumcision.
With a team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and implementers from OPHID, the SHM Foundation are working to co-design with adolescents themselves services that meet their needs.
Zvatinoda! (What we want! In Shona vernacular) is a cluster randomised trial funded by the UK MRC that aims to improve the uptake of sexual and reproductive health services in rural Zimbabwe. The intervention aims to develop novel mechanisms for service delivery using mobile technology, and leveraging forms of social support that are youth-friendly.
The SHM Foundation team will run a set of participatory co-design workshops with a group of adolescents in Mutare District to understand their needs, barriers to accessing services and technology capabilities. We will use creative methods to prototype what an acceptable sexual and reproductive health service delivery model might be with the adolescents.
The wider team will go on to pilot this model through a feasibility study.