Having access to information is important, but the quality of information and services is equally so.
Here are some guidelines to check the quality of services:
- A safe environment: young people feel secure and safe to use services, free from corruption, stigma, exploitation or abuse.
- Youth-friendly: services should take into account what young people want and need. This can only be so when young people are involved in the organization, implementation and evaluation of the services and have the chance to meaningfully participate.
- Supportive: Young people are encouraged to manage their lives in a healthy way and are not judged by the health workers.
- Adequate information: Quality services should provide you with adequate information and answer your questions unconditionally.
- Respect: Quality services should respect the rights of young people and their sexual diversity, without any judgement.
- Confidentiality: This means that service providers keep the discussed issues between the provider and the adolescent.
- Free or at a low cost
Integrated SRHR services should provide;
Sexual and reproductive health counselling
Contraceptive counselling and provision (including emergency contraception)
Safe abortion services
HIV prevention, testing and counselling services
Antenatal and postnatal services
Sexual and gender-based violence counselling
Relationship and sexuality counselling
Information linked to quality, youth-friendly services is very important for you to manage your sexual and reproductive health. These services focus on prevention, diagnosis and management of sexual and reproductive problems, both physical and mental. For example, if you go to a health clinic, you have the right to STI/HIV testing, counselling and treatment, in a confidential and non-judgemental manner.
Some barriers which make access to quality services difficult are:
Limited knowledge of where to access information
Fear, shame and stigma
Cultural beliefs in a community
Financial obstacles to travel to health centre
Write down one place in your neighbourhood where you have access to SRHR services and do a quality check! This means that you write down if you think they treat people with respect, and why (not), whether it is supportive, youth-friendly, provides adequate information, etc. So you check this place for all the quality standards listed above.