Assessing Youth-Friendly-Health-Services and Supporting Planning in the Republic of Moldova
ESC Congress Library. Carai S. 05/04/16; 126876; A-050
Susanne Carai
Susanne Carai
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Abstract
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Objectives

Several countries have set up youth-friendly-health-services. Relatively little is known about approaches to systematically assess their performance against set standards in terms of quality and coverage and define improvement activities based on the findings. The objective of this paper is to fill this gap and to describe the methods and findings of an external review of youth-friendly-health-services in Moldova and the use of the findings to support further planning. The Republic of Moldova scaled up youth-friendly-health-services (YFHS) nationwide with the target of setting up at least one youth-friendly-health-centre (YFHC) in each of the 35 districts.

Methods

We carried out an external review of the YFHS in Moldova using a framework that examined the project’s design, implementation and monitoring, outputs, outcomes and impact. We collected primary data - obtained from health worker and client exit interviews with semi-structured questionnaires, direct observation and focus group discussions - and used secondary data from progress reports, previous studies and surveys and national level data.

Results

While impressive progress with geographical scale up had taken place, services were not always provided to the required quality and comprehensively in the newly established YFHC, thereby diminishing chances of achieving the desired outcomes and impact. The causes of this were identified, and possible ways of addressing them were proposed.

Designating health facilities to be made youth friendly and assigning health workers to manage them can be done fairly quickly, improving performance takes time and effort. Approaches that go beyond training such as collaborative learning and job shadowing may hold the best opportunity to improve the knowledge, understanding and motivation of health workers in the newly designated YFHC to address the problem of poor quality.

Conclusions

The Healthy Generation project was well designed and energetically implemented in line with the plan. It has contributed to tangible improvements in the quality of health service provision, and to their uptake. While progress has been made, considerable work is needed, especially in the newer centres. If the efforts of the Healthy Generation project are stepped up, if weaknesses in its planning and implementation are addressed, if complementary activities to build knowledge, understanding, skills and an enabling environment are carried out, the project can be expected to improve the health and well- being of Moldova’s young people.

Objectives

Several countries have set up youth-friendly-health-services. Relatively little is known about approaches to systematically assess their performance against set standards in terms of quality and coverage and define improvement activities based on the findings. The objective of this paper is to fill this gap and to describe the methods and findings of an external review of youth-friendly-health-services in Moldova and the use of the findings to support further planning. The Republic of Moldova scaled up youth-friendly-health-services (YFHS) nationwide with the target of setting up at least one youth-friendly-health-centre (YFHC) in each of the 35 districts.

Methods

We carried out an external review of the YFHS in Moldova using a framework that examined the project’s design, implementation and monitoring, outputs, outcomes and impact. We collected primary data - obtained from health worker and client exit interviews with semi-structured questionnaires, direct observation and focus group discussions - and used secondary data from progress reports, previous studies and surveys and national level data.

Results

While impressive progress with geographical scale up had taken place, services were not always provided to the required quality and comprehensively in the newly established YFHC, thereby diminishing chances of achieving the desired outcomes and impact. The causes of this were identified, and possible ways of addressing them were proposed.

Designating health facilities to be made youth friendly and assigning health workers to manage them can be done fairly quickly, improving performance takes time and effort. Approaches that go beyond training such as collaborative learning and job shadowing may hold the best opportunity to improve the knowledge, understanding and motivation of health workers in the newly designated YFHC to address the problem of poor quality.

Conclusions

The Healthy Generation project was well designed and energetically implemented in line with the plan. It has contributed to tangible improvements in the quality of health service provision, and to their uptake. While progress has been made, considerable work is needed, especially in the newer centres. If the efforts of the Healthy Generation project are stepped up, if weaknesses in its planning and implementation are addressed, if complementary activities to build knowledge, understanding, skills and an enabling environment are carried out, the project can be expected to improve the health and well- being of Moldova’s young people.

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