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The Ministry of Health and Population, UNFPA and Gozour held a workshop on December 20 to discuss a plan to engage communities and mobilize them around adolescents and youth friendly health services, with the support of the European Union (EU) in Egypt.

The workshop brought together representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education, in addition to representatives of Al-Azhar University, the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical and Social Services (BLESS), Gozour Foundation for Development and other civil society organizations.

The Community Engagement Plan aims to support efforts to increase the awareness of adolescents and youth, including young people with disabilities, as well as support young people to receive reproductive health services through youth-friendly clinics. It also aims to increase the demand on youth-friendly services through the youth-friendly clinics.

“Providing quality health services to young people and adolescents is necessary in order for the entire society to be healthy,” Dr. Wael Abdel Razek, Head of the Ministry of Health’s Healthcare and Nursing Sector, said.

The plan is designed using a youth- centered approach to understand the circumstances of young people in their communities. It takes into account the challenges faced by young people to seek reproductive health services including social stigma, lack of awareness and other misconceptions. 

"Young people’s health is affected by their ability to make a decision to obtain the services they need, and therefore the Community Engagement Plan aims to provide the necessary support for young people to make use of the services," Dr. Maha Abdel Wanis, Reproductive Health Specialist at UNFPA, said.

Participants of the workshop discussed the suggested roadmap to implement the Community Engagement Plan, including through formulating central and governorate-level committees.

This comes under the EU Support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy project, which engages young people and people in reproductive age to increase the use of voluntary, rights-based family planning. 

Providing youth-friendly services empowers and enables young people to make responsible and informed reproductive health decisions.