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Dr. Diana Silimperi, MD, Deputy Director, the Quality Assurance Project, participated in a three-day consultation on adolescent friendly services, sponsored by the Child and Adolescent Health division of the World Health Organization in Geneva in early March 2001.
The consultation’s objectives were to understand adolescents’ health and development-related needs and problems - including their health care seeking behaviors, contributions health services could make in their health and well-being, and the availability of health services to adolescents in different parts of the world. Objectives included defining best practices to enhance quality of health services and to deliver services in a user-friendly manner (especially in light of many countries’ economic and socio-cultural constraints), and to reach consensus on global research and action necessary to make it easier for adolescents to obtain the quality health services they need.
About 60 representatives from adolescent service organizations, bilateral agencies, United Nations’ agencies, WHO headquarters and regional representatives, and international NGOs attended. Presenters from 25 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and the NIS shared their experiences.
Dr. Silimperi discussed QAP’s work with the National Adolescent Friendly Clinic Initiative in South Africa in her presentation "Achieving Quality in Adolescent Healthcare Services," which addressed Assumption 11 (see text below). She discussed the development of adolescent friendly standards, criteria, and the tools to measure compliance with the standards. The presentation evoked much interest, and this work in South Africa appears to be the first of its kind.
Topics of discussion included the content of essential service packages, clinical and quality standards for adolescent care, focused accreditation, the role of the private sector and alternative delivery approaches, including outreach, and linking adolescent health with the major donor initiatives of poverty reduction and health sector reform.
A final report on the Global Consultation will include the revised 12 assumptions and recommended research and actions for the six WHO regions around the world.
The consultation analyzed 12 governing assumptions about adolescent healthcare, which were drawn from international literature and research. Participants determined whether each assumption was supported by evidence, revised the assumptions, delineated practical implications of each assumption by the six WHO regions, and recommended future research and actions.
The 12 assumptions include:
The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) under Contract Number GPH-C-00-02-00004-00.