See how youth are leading on health, community engagement, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
View Global Health Impact in your web browser  |  Share with a friend
July/August 2015 (Issue 7)

Youth Health Now:

Engaging and Empowering Youth on Health

Engaging Youth for Sustainable Health in the Post-2015 Era {Photo: MSH staff}
Uganda: Teenage Girls Gain Knowledge on HIV & AIDS {Photo: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}
Empowering Teens Improve Health in Peru {Photo: Leslie Alsheimer}
Shifting Perspectives {Photo: Sarah Lindsay/MSH}
Leadership Breaks Down Barriers to Health in Uganda {Photo: Geoffrey Ddamba}

Investing in young people is critical for global health outcomes.

The current generation of 1.8 billion youth -- a quarter of the world’s population -- is the largest in history. In most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, people ages 15 to 29 will continue to comprise about half of the population for the next four decades.

MSH invests in strengthening health systems and partnering with communities to improve youth health. We engage young people as leaders capable of generating dynamic ideas, creating new solutions, and mobilizing resources for sustainable health systems in their communities. We pay special attention to addressing health issues that disproportionately affect young people (e.g. HIV and AIDS; unwanted, early and close-spaced pregnancies; and obstetric emergencies) and partner with organizations, such as the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP), to increase health impact.

Together, with our partners, we empower youth to create changes in policies and practices that are barriers to accessing health care. We increase young people’s awareness of their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). We build youth’s skills in leadership, management, and governance. We use community-based approaches and evidence-based advocacy to engage young people and communities in social dialogue around health issues.

MSH helps youth have the opportunity for a healthy life for themselves, their communities, and the world. This newsletter showcases some of these stories -- from Uganda to Nigeria to Peru and more -- and global efforts to engage and empower youth on health.

Young people are not only patients, clients, and beneficiaries. Young people are partners, providers, citizens, and leaders -- the most active generation in history -- that can and will lead us to a healthier future.

Engaging Young People for a New Era of Sustainable Health and Development

by Fabio Castaño and Kate Cho
Engaging Young People for Sustainable Health in the Post-2015 Era {Photo: MSH staff}
Youth participation and engagement is key to achieving the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those of health, gender equality, education, and livelihood development. MSH is working with young people to increase their skills to engage effectively with their peers, communities, and leaders and enact change in policies and practices that are barriers to young people’s access to health care, especially reproductive health.

// MORE >>
Photo: MSH staff

Shifting Perspectives: Young People Take the Lead

by Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project
Shifting Perspectives: Young People Take the Lead {Photo: Sarah Lindsay/MSH}
Now, more than ever, young people are taking on leadership roles to improve sexual and reproductive health. Around the world, young people are influencing global development agendas, contributing to community-level health service delivery, and are poised to design policies and programs to meet their needs and those of their peers. Here’s how USAID’s LMG Project, led by MSH with partners, is supporting young people’s leadership development to increase impact.

// more >>
Photo: Sarah Lindsay/MSH
YOUTH LEAD GLOBAL | sexual and reproductive health


“Down, Down the Road”: Empowering Adolescent Girls with Health Knowledge in Gombe State, Nigeria

by Emily Judem
"Down, Down the Road”: Empowering Adolescent Girls with Health Knowledge in Nigeria
In Nigeria, traditional methods of creating demand for maternal health services have focused on male involvement to influence the community. MSH took a different approach in Gombe State: empowering adolescent girls to be change agents in their community. This video shares excerpts from the poem written by the participants, aged 13 to 19, and read by Rifkatu, one of the poem’s authors. (Learn more about the program here.)

// Watch video >>
Nigeria | Youth Lead


Training and Bonding Program Improves Access to Health Care in Rural Malawi

by Cindy Shiner
Rural Malawi {Photo: Cindy Shiner/MSH}
Local leaders are enthusiastically supporting a new program for its potential to improve staffing at rural health facilities and ensure culturally sensitive service delivery and care. The program in six Malawian districts identifies promising young students, pays to train them as medical assistants or nurse midwife technicians for two years, and bonds them to work for three years in rural health facilities near their home.

// MORE >>
Photo: Cindy Shiner/MSH
Malawi | Human resources for Health | livelihood development

Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health among Angolan Youth

by Ana Diaz
Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health among Angolan Youth {Photo: AAM}
A partnership between the Angolan government and civil society, supported by USAID, MSH, and partners, is empowering youth in Luanda to achieve improved sexual and reproductive health.

// MORE >>
Photo: Acção Angolana para a Mulher (AAM)
Angola | Sexual and Reproductive Health | Partnerships

Leadership Breaks Down Barriers to Health Services Among Young People in Uganda

by Sasha Grenier
A peer educator mobilizes clients for outreach services in Kawempe. {Photo: Geoffrey Ddamba}
The Leadership Development Program Plus (LDP+) has improved youth participation at a clinic in Uganda, helping youth better address their own reproductive health and family planning needs.

This story originally appeared in USAID’s Frontlines newsletter.

// More >>
Photo: Geoffrey Ddamba
Uganda | sexual and reproductive health | family planning

Empowering Teens Improves Health in Peru

by Management Sciences for Health
Empower Teens Improves Health in Peru {Photo: Leslie Alsheimer}
A youth initiative by MSH and partners is helping youth in a Peruvian district boost their knowledge of family planning, their leadership skills, communication with their parents, and their self-esteem.

// MORE >>
Photo: Leslie Alsheimer
Peru | family planning | Youth LEAD

Uganda: Teenage Girls Gain Knowledge on HIV & AIDS

by Tadeo Atuhura
[Students receive HIV education program by STAR-E.] {Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}
When Sylvia Kabuya entered Mbale Progressive Secondary School in eastern Uganda, she knew little about HIV and AIDS, how it was transmitted, or where to get tested. Now, Sylvia, 1 of 485 girls in 6 schools, all in Mbale District, who received the HIV education program, says:

“I am not scared by the pressure from boys and other girls to engage in early sex. I know my rights and am determined to fulfill my vision of completing my education.”

// MORE >>
Photo: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH
Uganda | HIV and AIDS | Sexual and reproductive health


  • MSH Joins YouthPower Initiative
    MSH is pleased to have recently joined the YouthPower initiative, a groundbreaking multisectoral initiative that aims to strengthen local, national, and global youth systems to achieve sustainable, positive outcomes among youth in health, education, and political and economic empowerment. YouthPower is a USAID-funded project that operationalizes the 2012 USAID Youth in Development Policy -- the first ever global youth strategy produced by USAID.
  • Tomorrow's Health Leaders: Youth Lead Global
    One important way to engage youth is by listening to them and elevating their voices. The LMG Project, funded by USAID and led by MSH with a consortium of partners, launched a new Youth Leadership e-course this week and is promoting the impressive work of young leaders through a Young Leaders in Action video series and through social media.



Stronger health systems. Greater health impact.
Forward to Friend
We envision a world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life.
GuidestarManagement Sciences for Health (MSH) uses proven approaches developed over 40 years to help leaders, health managers, and communities in developing nations build stronger health systems for greater health impact. We work to save lives by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Since its founding in 1971, MSH has worked in over 150 countries with policymakers, health professionals, and health care consumers to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of health services.

Copyright © 2015 Management Sciences for Health, All rights reserved.
Join the conversation - Global Health Impact Blog
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn
Subscribe to us on YouTube