SRHR Themed Sports Gala Held In Tororo

The event aimed at bridging the gap between the youth and access to health services especially those related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

On 11th April 2024, the Mella sub-county of Tororo district was abuzz with youthful energy as the youth enthusiastically responded to the mobilization call of the Youth Mobile Health Hub, aka, Youth Truck to participate in an SRHR sports gala under the theme BEERA STEADY PLAN FOR YOUR FAMILY. St. Mary’s Assumpta Seed School in Tororo District was where the youth gathered to compete in games of football and netball. Action 4 Health Uganda organized the event in collaboration with Mella Health Centre III and Tororo Youth Empowerment Centre. The event aimed at bridging the gap between the youth and access to health services especially those related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

There were eight teams in total with participants coming from all over the community. They included both school-going youths, those from the youth clubs, and the community. Schools included Tororo Technical Institute and St. Mary’s Assumpta Seed School. Youth Clubs such as Mella Youth Club were in attendance. Other teams included Asinge Team, Kaliat Team, Amoni Team, Malaba Team, and Linkway Team. The winning team from each game was awarded a goat to celebrate their achievement and these were received with excitement. The football team from St. Mary’s Assumpta Seed School won the football match and the winning netball team was that of Mella Youth Club.

A football game in progress

During the game breaks, peer educators with support from Youth Empowerment Centers (YEC) leaders and A4HU staff conducted cascading sessions on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. Health workers from Mella Health Centre III provided SRHR services to those in attendance. Services provided included HIV testing, HPV screening, STI screening and treatment, antenatal care, post-abortion care, and all family planning services including talks on when to have children, why wait to have children, and so forth.

A Peer Educator conducts peer learning sessions during the game water breaks

“It has always been our desire to see how to reach the youth in different areas at outreach sites and in schools with support from A4HU and YC at health facilities. This sports gala has made this possible also thanks to the Youth Truck. We have more youths taking part in these events. I thank A4HU and DSW for partnering with and supporting us in serving the health needs of the youth.” remarked Aarakit Emima Loy, a health worker from Mella Health Centre III.

A health worker from Mella Health Centre III draws blood from a youth during the sports gala

Esther Ajala, a teacher at St. Mary’s Assumpta Seed School said, “I extend our honor to A4HU and the donors of the Youth Truck for identifying our school as the venue for the SRHR Sports Gala. The school and the students have not remained the same. The students have benefited from the free SRHR services and products. They have also received pieces of advice from peer educators. Thank you! We are ready as a school to host such an event again.”

“We thank A4HU for this event from which we have benefited. We have received health talks, counseling, and health services like HIV testing, and STI screening. We have not only played netball but also received knowledge about menstrual hygiene and saying no to early marriages. Thank you to DSW for the Youth Truck which comes to far-off places to mobilize the youth for such events. We have benefited a lot from it. Thank you!” commented one of the female youths who participated in the netball competition.

“Thanks to our donors DSW, the A4HU team, and my colleagues for this SRHR Sports Gala. This event has been a great one where we have integrated the Youth Truck to mobilize our youth from the villages enabling them to turn up in big numbers. The youth have received the SRHR information with open hearts and are willing to learn more. May these efforts continue as we bring SRHR information to the young people.” shared Okiru Edward, Tororo YEC Chairperson.

The SRHR-themed Sports Gala in Tororo is a prime example of innovative community engagement, combining sports with vital health education. This event not only provided a platform for youth to engage in physical activities but also facilitated access to crucial health services and information. The integration of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) education into a sports event is a strategic approach to reach young people, who often hard to engage in traditional health promotion activities. By offering SRHR services and education in a relaxed and familiar environment, the organizers effectively addressed the critical need for youth to have accurate information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health. This initiative reflects a growing recognition of the importance of holistic approaches to youth health and empowerment, where fun and learning go hand in hand.

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