PRB partnered with Mombasa-based Stretchers Youth Organization to develop an engaging visual presentation and series of WhatsApp videos that call on Mombasa County, Kenya, health and finance officials to improve the budgets for adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH). Specifically, the products seek an increase in the allocation of health budget funds to the line item that houses AYSRH and to allocate part of the AYSRH budget to youth-friendly health services (YFHS).
Mombasa County has a youthful population, with more than 240,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24. Among this age group, 38% of women want to delay or prevent pregnancy, but only 6% of young men and women accessed contraceptives in 2019. Strengthening youth-friendly service delivery is proven to increase youth’s access to and use of contraception. Mombasa County allocated KES500,000 to AYSRH in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019/20, but more investment is needed to ensure contraceptives are available and accessible to all young people.
The presentation that PRB and Stretchers Youth Organization developed illustrates the barriers that prevent young people from accessing and using contraception—such as provider attitudes and social norms—and emphasizes that youth’s need for contraceptives will grow over time. Acknowledging the county’s allocation to AYSRH in FY2019/20, it highlights examples of youth-friendly service elements that the county could fund and that are proven to increase contraceptive use among young people. The presentation also shows that although the county health budget is increasing, in the last three years less than 1% of it has been allocated to Preventative and Promotive Health, the budget line that houses AYSRH. It concludes with a call for the Mombasa County Executive Committee Members for Health and Finance and Mombasa County Assembly Health Finance Committees to:
- Increase allocation of health budget funds to the Preventative and Promotive Health program line to at least 5% over time.
- Allocate part of the AYSRH budget specifically to youth-friendly health services.
The WhatsApp videos—in both English and Swahili—encourage county health and finance officials to allocate funds for YFHS. Each of the four videos uses data to focus on a theme and make the case for investing in YFHS: spending cost effectively, reducing teenage pregnancy, honoring county commitments, and empowering the future of girls and the county.