VHIR coordinates the CHANCE Project to improve sexual and reproductive health in Angola

This project will make societies aware of their rights related to sexual and reproductive health and empower young people to make informed and appropriate choices.

14/06/2024

On May 13, the CHANCE Project was presented, an initiative to improve the knowledge of Angolan youth on sexual and reproductive health, implemented by the CHANCE Consortium (Strategies to improve the knowledge and attitudes of Angolan youth regarding sexual and reproductive health) and funded by the European Union. The event highlighted the collaboration among several entities, including Vall d'Hebron. The commitment of Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Tropical Medicine and International Health Unit of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital with research and improving the health of the Angolan population began more than 15 years ago and this new project adds to CRESCER and FUTURO, underway since 2020.

During the event, Juliano Muli, vice-president of ISP Jean Piaget of Benguela, showed his commitment to make the project a success. Carlos Aurélio, representing the Benguela Provincial Health Headquarters, opened the event.

Laura Mascagna, representing the European Union, praised the partners and thanked on behalf of the European Union for creating powerful connections to achieve the expected results. This project will make societies aware of their rights related to Sexual and Reproductive Health, and empower young people to make informed and appropriate decisions about their lives with regard to Sexual and Reproductive Health. She mentioned that the CHANCE Project meets the Sustainable Development Goals and that the partners of this project will be instrumental in the process since in Angola 24.5% of women aged 15-19 have already had children and, according to consultations, there is very little information on contraceptives. More than 50% of the Angolan population are women, thus the concern to disseminate information on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

CHANCE project

The CHANCE Project aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health knowledge of young people in the municipalities of Cubal and Lobito, with special attention to young women and the most vulnerable groups. This phase of the project will run from 2024 to 2028.

Esperanza Esteban, General Coordinator and Principal Investigator of the CHANCE Project at VHIR, highlighted the innovative methodology of the project. "We are joining efforts with academic and civil society entities to provide comprehensive support to young people", Esteban said.

This joint effort, supported by the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, ISP Jean Piaget de Benguela, together with civil society organizations, such as AJS (Associaçao Juvenial para solidaridade), OIC (Organizaçao de Intercçao Comunitaria) and CAJ (Centro Apoio aos Jovens), not only aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people, but also to empower the new generations, providing them with the necessary tools for a better future.

The presence of traditional and religious authorities at the event reflects the commitment of all stakeholders to ensure the success of the CHANCE Project.

CRESCER, FUTURO and CHANCE

Currently, the Infectious Diseases group at VHIR and the Tropical Medicine and International Health Unit of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital coordinate three projects funded by the European Union that are being implemented in Angola together with local and international partners. On the one hand, the CRESCER project, which is Component IV of the Strengthening Resilience and Food Security in Angola program (FRESAN Program), aims to generate scientific evidence to help fight chronic child malnutrition, i.e., the deterioration of growth experienced by children due to poor nutrition, lack of access to water and chronic infections, among other causes in the southern region of the country.

The FUTURO project aims to strengthen the role of young people in the formulation of public policies on Sexual and Reproductive Health. The CHANCE Project, which will build on the results and experiences of the FUTURO project that will end in October 2024 and will develop "Strategies for better knowledge and attitudes of Angolan youth on reproductive and sexual health issues".

CHANCE aims to respond to the problems detected and provide an open sexual and reproductive health plan with the implementation of specific actions targeting detected problems. CHANCE aims to improve the knowledge and attitudes of children and young people in this area, including those belonging to the most vulnerable groups and those at risk of social exclusion.

In all cases, the research team maintains a direct dialogue with the Angolan government and other academic institutions to promote the transfer of scientific and technical knowledge, as well as the exchange of experiences through this applied research.

CHANCE aims to improve the knowledge and attitudes of children and young people in this area, including those belonging to the most vulnerable groups and those at risk of social exclusion.

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