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What do adolescents perceive as ‘friendly’ health services?

Adolescents are a heterogeneous group. The expectations and preferences of different groups of
adolescents are understandably different.
It is interesting to note, however, that different groups of adolescents, from various parts of the world,
identify two key, common characteristics. They want to be treated with respect and to be sure that their
confidentiality is protectedThere is growing recognition of the need to overcome these barriers and to make it easier for
adolescents to obtain the health services they need. Initiatives are being undertaken in many countries
to help ensure that:9
• Health service providers are non judgemental and considerate in their dealings with adolescents;
and they have the competencies needed to deliver the right health services in the right way.
• Health facilities are equipped to provide adolescents with the health services they need; and are
also appealing and ‘friendly’ to adolescents.
• Adolescents are aware of where they can obtain the health services they need, and are both able and
willing to do so when needed.
• Community members are aware of the health-service needs of different groups of adolescents, and
support their provision.
NGOs are in the forefront of these efforts in most places, although in a growing number of countries,
government-run health facilities are also reorienting themselves in order to reach out to adolescents.

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