The effectiveness of adolescent reproductive health (ARH) programmes in health and education sectors and the wider community in sub-Saharan Africa is limited by adverse prevailing cultural norms and practices and by poor programme integration. IntHEC aims to promote equitable RH service provision and improve its uptake and effectiveness.
The project will conduct a situation analysis of existing ARH programmes in Tanzania and Niger and then develop and implement an innovative package of interventions.
The process and impact of the interventions will be evaluated generating new knowledge about intervention development and indicators of intervention processes and effect. The overall impact of the interventions will be evaluated in a population-based cluster randomised trial. Involvement as project partners of the government ministries directly responsible for ARH policy in both Niger and Tanzania will ensure the policy-relevance of this research, and its continued impact beyond the like of this project.
Poor ARH continues to be a major cause of morbidity and worsening poverty for the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa. The effectiveness of ARH programmes implemented within the health and education sectors is seriously hampered by adverse prevailing cultural norms and practices within those sectors and the wider community, and by poor programme integration.
The IntHEC project aims to improve the reproductive health of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa. Its overall objective is to improve the delivery of reproductive health services in Tanzania and Niger by successfully engaging policy-makers and programmers in generating new evidence about effective ways to strengthen the provision, uptake, equity and effectiveness of adolescent reproductive health programmes.
Based on a situation analysis, interventions will be developed which will potentially increase uptake of STI treatment services, increase uptake of antenatal services and improve acceptability and integration of reproductive health services. In addition to improvements in maternal morbidity and mortality and improvements in adolescent reproductive health, these interventions may improve gender relations in the workplace, equity of service provision and improve community attitudes to the rights of adolescents and young people.
By involving policy-makers in this project and providing policy relevant research, this programme will have impact at international, national, local government level. By developing strategies to improve cultures and norms within health, education and community sectors, and improving interactions between them, it will have impact on implementers within those sectors. By improving the accessibility, efficiency and user-friendliness of services it will have positive reproductive health impacts on youth and the wider community.