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To achieve wider coverage on youth reproductive health and rights

By Nino Zhgenti
Thursday, May 21
On May 15, 2009, EU/UNFPA co-funded project “Reproductive Health Initiative For Youth in the South Caucasus” (RHIYC) opened Youth Reproductive Health Information Center at Ilia Chavhavadze State University and Youth Reproductive Health Medical-Information Center at “Tbilisi Family Medicine Clinic and Training Center” (TFMCTC). The event was dedicated to International Day of Family.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Otar Toidze, Head of the Parliamentary Committee of Health and Social Issues, Mr. Nikoloz Pruidze, Deputy Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Mrs. Nino Kochishvili, Project Manager of EC Delegation to Georgia, Mrs. Tamar Khomasuridze, the Assistant representative, UNFPA Georgia Country Office and the representatives of Ilia Chavchavadze State University Administration, Students’ self governance, young people and Health Care professionals from TFMCTC.

Youth Reproductive Health Information center provides youth with quality information and IEC materials on S&RH and rights issues, as well as gives a possibility of free access to internet resources and friendly environment for discussions related to S&R health and rights.

Youth Reproductive Health Medical Centers provides young people with free RH counseling, contraceptives, affordable diagnostic and treatment as well as wide range of information on reproductive health issues. Physicians, which work at these centers, are trained at Zhordania Institute of Human Reproduction on provision of youth friendly RH services and there was a special curriculum developed in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia for such trainings, underlining not only clinical issues but also corresponding communications specifics.

“Six Youth RH Medical-information Centers and four Youth RH information centers are opened in Tbilisi and different regions of Georgia, these services and information are youth friendly, high quality and free of charge. By the end of 2009, in total 20 Youth Reproductive Health service and Information Centers will be opened all over the Georgia” Mrs. Tamar Khomasuridze stated.

The Head of the TFMCTC Mrs. Marina Shikhashvili thanked EU/UNFPA representatives for all technical support and expressed a strong wish for future collaboration.

“We are very glad and grateful that our initiative on opening new Reproductive Health Medical Center at TFMCTC, was supported by UNFPA and EC Delegation to Georgia. Our wish is to expand the scope of our work and provide youth wih free RH counseling and wide range of information on RH issues“.

In the frame of UNFPA emergency response to better address the needs of displaced young people, Youth Reproductive Health Medical-information Center was opened in Gori. The Center provides young people with free RH counseling, information and diagnostic services that serve as a good precondition for improvement reproductive health and as a tool to increase their awareness on RH issues.

RHIYC is a large-scale multi-partner project, developed through the active participation of youth in three Caucasus countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The project, coordinated by Georgia in three regions, aims to build national capacities and regional as well as local partnerships between government members, civil society representatives, doctors associations and universities in order to improve the sexual and reproductive health status of youth in the South Caucasus.

In the frame of project objective - to increase awareness and improve knowledge on S&RH and rights issues - RHIYC online interactive contest on Reproductive Health issues was launched in January, 2009. It is organized on monthly basis with main objective to educate and inform youth on Reproductive Health and Rights issues. Through the country level website young people are actively involved in discussion process and encouraged to express their knowledge as well as raise new topics for discussion. During the opening ceremony of Reproductive Health Information Center at Ilia Chavhavadze State University winner of the online contest was awarded special prizes.

“I would like to thank all the members of the project who organize online discussions on Reproductive Health as well as other issues. It is a great opportunity to find out about wide range of issues and share experience and knowledge with other peers”, stated Mariam Revazishvili, winner of the contest.

“EC Delegation to Georgia fully realizes the crucial role of Reproductive Health Education in youth. We believe that in order to progress in the country’s development, it is vital to have a healthy new generation”, Mrs. Nino Kochishvili stated.