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Consultant: Devendra Gandhi 

Data theme: Entitlements, Health and Nutrition 

Objectives: Improve coverage of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) and ensure access to essential services and commodities for adolescents at Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHND) and Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs).

Key Outcomes:  This strategic intervention organized several meetings and workshops with the community, specifically local adolescents and shared insights and factsheets from the UDAYA survey, reaching out to more than 100 adolescents with information about Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) and the importance of Iron Folic Acid tablets.

A letter demanding better service delivery of VHNDs and AFHCs with over 400 signatures from adolescents and members of the community was accepted by the Medical Officer In-Charge, Chief Medical Officer and the RKSK Nodal Officer. 

The intervention influenced local officials to organise five Adolescent Health Days, where over over 200 adolescents received information and entitlements as per the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program.  

The consultant also organised meetings with the media, resulting in at least five media reports being published at the local level with information about the UDAYA study. 

Process: The meetings and events organised with adolescent groups and the wider community provided information and the subsequent discussions revealed that most of the adolescents had never heard about the RKSK program, and were very excited to learn of specific provisions that were centred around their health and wellbeing. The intervention also organised a visit by the adolescents to the AFHCs. 

Over a span of a few months, five Adolescent Health Days were organised, with engaging activities like street plays, slogan writing competitions, signature campaigns etc. More than 200 adolescents participated and received provisions. Soon after, the camps were paused due to another wave of COVID-19 infections, and the subsequent lockdown. However, the initiative took this opportunity to conduct a community monitoring effort, which revealed that the adolescent girls were no longer receiving a supply of sanitary napkins. Usually, these provisions were made available via the schools, but with lockdown, none of the girls were going to school, nor had the State authorities sanctioned the procurement and distribution of sanitary napkins. 

A letter containing recommendations to strengthen service delivery of VHNDs and AFHCs was drafted. Over 400 adolescents and parents were signatories. The letter was submitted to the District Program Officer and other relevant officials. The letter was accepted by the Medical Officer In-Charge, Chief Medical Officer, as well as the RKSK nodal authority. 

Currently, district and block level authorities are aware of gaps in service delivery, and have accepted several of the recommendations forwarded by the community in public meetings. Furthermore, they have issued verbal assurances to follow up on better implementation of the RKSK program.