This project will work in three communities in Chinandega province (Tonala, Puerto Morazan, and Villa Nueva) and target approximately 2,546 people, including 1,480 adolescents. It will build on activities begun by Plan International and NICASALUD and extend them to new communities. The project aims to reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy in the project areas by improving adolescents’ knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, promoting sustained behavior change, and linking them to appropriate services, and by expanding NGO networks to support quality services, especially to adolescents.
The project will work with the Ministry of Health and will link with PROFAMILIA (a Nicaraguan non-governmental organization), the Johns Hopkins University Adolescent Project, and the Ministry of Health/United Nations Population Fund project to provide counseling support and family planning methods and service and will develop peer adolescent counseling for community-based work. Project components include: direct training and counseling of adolescents, with a focus on training adolescent counselors to undertake community and adolescent outreach, and training Ministry of Health personnel to provide improved services to adolescents.
The project will expand on activities begun by Save the Children/US in Nakasongola district to improve sexual and reproductive health services and information. The overall goal is to help reduce morbidity and mortality among women of reproductive age. Nakasongola has a total population of 150,000, including 34,500 women of reproductive age. Program components include: extending access to community-based family planning and reproductive health information and services by establishing a cadre of community reproductive health volunteers; complementing improvements in facility-based services undertaken by the USAID-funded DISH project; improving the quality and use of services through greater community involvement, using the “community-defined quality” methodology; and reducing social barriers to sexual and reproductive health through pilot approaches to community action and advocacy.
The primary project Partners are Save the Children Uganda and the district health office in Nakasongola, with CARE Uganda providing technical assistance to build Save the Children’s capacity to train community reproductive health workers. Collaboration with the DISH project will facilitate linkages with planned and existing health facilities and structures and provide relevant baseline and follow-up statistics for analysis. Local government structures, parish development committees, and district Ministry of Health staff will work together to develop community action plans, implement activities, and ensure sustainability after the project ends.
Finally, in an effort to ensure that lessons from the implementation of community-based approaches are shared among the broader NGO community in Uganda, CARE will coordinate quarterly NGO forum meetings at the national level, in addition to a national technical update and dissemination meeting during the second year of project implementation.