Needs assessment for out of school youthWednesday 6th March 2019
While rarely making international news, Madagascar is facing a surge in sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with disastrous implications for the country’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Nationally, approximately 31,000 people are living with HIV, a 54% increase since 2010. Of these people, it is estimated that only 8% are aware of their status and 5% receiving treatment, the lowest levels in sub-Saharan Africa (UNAIDS, 2017).
However, there is little information about these threats in some of the country’s most
vulnerable areas, leaving crucial gaps in SRHR planning and support. Project Safidy is working to address these gaps through intensive research in Fort Dauphin and the nearby rural communities of Mahatalaky, Sainte Luce and Tsanoriha. Beginning in February 2019, the Project Safidy team has been exploring the SRHR knowledge, attitudes and practices of young people and the service infrastructure available for addressing these issues. Through a combination of key informant interviews and focus group discussions, this research will include over 400 people, ranging from government officials and healthcare providers to the most at-risk youth.
Interviews have focused on assessing wide SRHR topics such as STI prevalence, SRHR information channels, services and practices, while focus group discussions with young men and women have allowed in-depth discussions of these topics. Together, these methods incorporate diverse perspectives from vulnerable populations, including sex workers and the LGBT community. Driven by an inclusive vision of SRHR, this research is producing a comprehensive understanding of how Project Safidy and our partners can most affectively support young people’s SRHR.