The Youth Friendly Pharmacies was designed to provide the youth of Cao Bang with access to safe and reliable information and medications for sexual and reproductive health care. As the main contacts for health information and medication, the program trained pharmacists in counselling and sexual and reproductive health concerns to help them be more accessible for their communities.
Duration: 01 year (August 2008 - July 2009)
Total Budget: US$56,847
Donor(s): ADRA International
Location: Cao Bang Province (the capital town, Quang Uyen and Hoa An districts)
Beneficiaries: Adolescents in target areas
Main partners: Cao Bang Department of Health
Beneficiaries: 26 pharmacists were trained in the Youth Friendly Pharmacies program and at least 85,696 adolescents accessed the pharmacy services across the three districts during this period.
Stories from the Project:
"Today it is very common to find young people having sex before marriage, which affects not only their health, their physical and mental life, but also the society in general. Although they were taught about reproductive health, it is not enough to protect them from the consequences of pre-marital sex; many of them have to go through a lot of troubles, or create problems for their families and the society. The project brought positive impacts because it provided young people not only with knowledge but also with solutions to reproductive health issues. This is an important project that should be maintained. For myself, when participating in this project, I got more knowledge on reproductive health and medicines. I also improved my skills in communicating with and counseling clients. Not only I but other pharmacists feel very happy to be part of the project.
One month ago, I had a female client from Bao Lam district. She was a student, coming to buy emergency contraceptive pills. I asked her whether she had used that medicine before. She said that she had used them many times and did not see any side effects. I asked her more questions and found out that she had used a lot, maybe five or six times during the previous month. I advised her not to abuse emergency contraceptives; it should be used only in emergency cases and not more than 2 times per month because it is not good for her health and can affect the regularity of her periods. If she abuses it, it might be difficult for her to have children later. The best way was not having sex before marriage. If she did, she should use condoms. After listening to me, she was worried. She said that she wanted the contraceptives in case she needed them because her boyfriend was home visiting her now. I felt that I was able to provide her with some necessary knowledge on reproductive health, which would give her a better idea as to what to do.
Although the project is going to end, the impact it has left on the pharmacists will be maintained. This is part of our daily work. I myself will maintain this counseling work for our clients. I will keep the flyer shelves and project logo here in the pharmacy".
Ma Thi Dinh
62 years old, Obstetrical Doctor, Cao Bang Town
The activities in the youth-friendly pharmacy program, in accordance with the Youth-Friendly Pharmacy Program Implementation Kit of PATH, focuses on youth-friendly counseling by pharmacists on topics of sexual and reproductive health.
Access to and use of safe, reliable information and medicine for adolescent sexual and reproductive health care will improve the health outcomes of adolescents in Cao Bang Province.
- By July 30, 2009, increase the capacity of 25 pharmacies to deliver youth-friendly reproductive services;
- By July 30, 2009, increase the number of youth accessing and utilizing youth-friendly reproductive health services.
- Capacity building for staff of 26 pharmacies in the target areas;
- Provision of IEC materials in sexual and reproductive health and other basic M&E tools;
- Promotion of the project and the pharmacies through local media and other channels;
- Maintenance of the project impact by capitalizing on the local interest in the model.