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Youth Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
Young people between 10 - 24 years of age make up about 30% of our country's population. As young people are growing up to become adults, they need information, skills health services and societal support to make responsible informed decisions about their Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH).

The Federation of Family Planning Associations, Malaysia (FFPAM) and its 13 member State Family Planning Associations, (FPAs) have a comprehensive Family Life Education Programme which focuses on the holistic development of young people through the provision of three broad components on SRH and rights. They are:
  • Providing appropriate information on SRH, for example on physical and emotional changes during the growing up years, maintaining healthy lifestyle, friendships and relationships.
  • Developing skills especially in decision-making related to SRH and rights, for example skills in improving self esteem, in resisting peer pressure and skills in improving communications with parents.
  • Making clinical SRH services available appropriate to the age and stage of sexual development of young people in a youth friendly environment for example, providing para counseling services and teaching of breast self-examination.
The FFPAM Module called the Reproductive Health of Adolescents Module (RHAM) is used as the training tool to interact with young people. RHAM is one of the landmark outputs of the UNFPA funded Project MAL/98/P02 and is used to provide education and skills to young people to empower them to make responsible decisions related to SRH and responsible living.

Today, FFPAM through its member state Family Planning Associations have 10 youth centers/clubs (except in Johor). These youth centers are run by youths, both in school and out of school youths. Activities that promote SRH and well being of young people are organized for members and other interested youth. These youth centers also serve as an important referral network to connect young people to the appropriate clinical SRH services, which are provided through the youth-friendly clinics/services currently available at FPAs of Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.

To integrate the characteristics of youth friendly services, in September 2000, the FFPAM initiated a one-year IPPF/USAID-funded Project, "Improving the Quality of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for young people through Operations Research" The outcomes of this initiative guided the FPAs programme planners and managers to incorporate appropriate youth-friendly features and activities for youth, which took into consideration their expressed needs. This study was carried out at the FPAs of Negeri Sembilan and Sarawak.

An extension of the UNFPA funded Project MAL/98/P02 was a similar Operations Research but on a smaller scale, to upgrade the youth service models of FPAs of Sabah, Selangor/WP and Terengganu into youth-friendly clinics/service models where clinical services on SRH are also provided.

Meanwhile members of the Task Force, FFPAM Medical Sub-Committee on FFPAM Technical Guidelines for the Clinical Services Programme is currently developing the Guidelines on "Youth-Friendly" Services on Sexual and Reproductive Health for Young People to facilitate the State FPAs to provide youth-friendly clinical services through the State FPAs Clinic Service Delivery Programme.

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