Sexuality and life skills education in youth clubs in Zambia

21 April, 2021

Dear HIFA-Zambia and HIFA colleagues,

This paper in Global Public Health highlights two important factors for effective health education: co-development with local facilitators and ensuring the materials are in a language that people can understand.

CITATION: Glob Public Health 2021 Mar 4;1-15. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2021.1893371.

Experiences of teachers and community health workers implementing sexuality and life skills education in youth clubs in Zambia

Malizgani Paul Chavula 1, Joar Svanemyr 2 3, Joseph Mumba Zulu 1, Ingvild Fossgard Sandøy 2

ABSTRACT

Zambia, like other low- and middle-income countries, faces numerous adolescent sexual and reproductive health challenges such as teenage pregnancies. This study aimed at understanding teachers' and community health workers' (CHWs) implementation of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) as part of a comprehensive support package for adolescent girls to prevent early childbearing. Data collected using in-depth interviews [n = 28] with teachers [n = 15] and community health workers [n = 13] were analysed using thematic analysis. The teachers and CHWs reported that the use of participatory approaches and collaboration between them in implementing CSE enabled them to increase girls' and boys' participation youth clubs. However, some teachers and CHWs experienced practical challenges with the manuals because some concepts were difficult to understand and translate into local language. The participants perceived that the youth club increased knowledge on CSE, assertiveness and self-esteem among the learners. Training and providing a detailed teaching manual with participatory approaches for delivering CSE, and collaborative teaching enabled teachers and CHWs to easily communicate sensitive SRH topics to the learners. However, for the adoption of CSE to be even more successful, piloting of the curriculum with local facilitators and translating the manuals into the local languages before they are implemented, is recommended.

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA-Zambia profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of HIFA-Zambia and the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org