• Huancavelica
  • Area: Health and nutrition

Promoting improvements in the lives of adolescents

Daine, an obstetrician at the Santa Rosa de Choppca Health Center (Yauli, Huancavelica), was part of the first group of health professionals to participate in the course “Adolescence, a challenge for public health,” the only one focused on the adolescent life stage in the region. The course was organized by Save the Children to strengthen the competencies and skills of medical specialists in Huancavelica and promote the improvement of the comprehensive health care services they provide to adolescents.

Daine is a 26-year-old woman who works as an obstetrician at the health center in the Santa Rosa de Choppcavillage, district of Yauli (Huancavelica). Although she chose her profession out of vocation, her day-to-day work is not always easy. One of the main challenges she faces is to get adolescents to understand the importance of coming to the medical centers and getting their health checkups. Especially when, according to Daine, anemia and teenage pregnancy are two of the main problems in the area.

Each adolescent comes from a different upbringing and family, so each one of them has a different way of behaving. In addition, adolescents have a myriad of problems and they do not come to the health center.

Overcoming the challenge

Daine was part of the group of 77 professionals who participated for the first time in the self-training virtual course “Adolescence, a challenge for public health”, organized by Save the Children in coordination with the Regional Health Directorate (DIRESA) of Huancavelica. The design of the course is not only very innovative, but it is also the only one -so far- that exclusively addresses the adolescent life stage and focuses on it as a priority for the health sector.

Thus , the course aims to strengthen the competencies and skills of medical staff to improve the differentiated comprehensive health care service provided to adolescents during their visits to the health centers in the region.

The course is interesting and helps us understand a little better the adolescence stage. Above all, how to take care of them and what strategies we can use to address the problems they experience.

Daine thinks that the course was very didactic and has allowed her to have a different perspective in her daily work. She is now more aware of what to avoid, as well as what to focus on, for example, vis-a-vis teenage pregnancy cases.

I have been able to improve my work with adolescents, the main learning was about the laws that protect teenage mothers (…) (The course) will help improve the lives of adolescents, for example, by supporting teenage mothers so that they can excel and finish school.

The course consisted of five modules focused on the following topics: (1) Why to invest in adolescence; (2) Understanding adolescence; (3) Comprehensive care for adolescents; (4) Interpersonal communication skills and abilities for counseling adolescents and teenage pregnancy; and (5) The protection network for children and adolescents.

Thus, at the end of the course, health professionals are better able to address the following dimensions: psychosocial health, physical health, nutrition, and sexual and reproductive health in adolescents. Besides, the health staff have the necessary tools and resources to provide comprehensive and differentiated care, with quality and warmth.

Daine is thinking of sharing what she has learned and has set herself the goal of seeking new partners to continue working in a coordinated manner.

For example, she has in mind reaching out to other NGOs, advocating for educational institutions, and seeking the support of parents.

For her, the most important thing is to consider the specific needs of adolescents since this is an essential stage in their development, and a second window of opportunity to guide them and prepare them to develop their capabilities to the fullest.

It would be to provide them with a differentiated service, responding to their needs as adolescents (…) The future of the country is in the hands of adolescents, it is the basis for all stages of life.

About the intervention

The project “Improving the health of mothers and adolescents in Huancavelica” is implemented by Save the Children thanks to the support of Latin American Children’s Trust – LACT. It aims to provide timely care to increase the chances of adolescents in the region to have a better quality of life, prioritizing their physical and emotional development, as well as providing them with spaces for dialogue where they can access relevant information to enable them to make the most
suitable decisions regarding their future.

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