SRH is the core of PaLM's work.
PaLM’s TZ partner organisations identified SRH as a key concern during initial scoping in 2006. Teenage pregnancy is both an acute local issue and a focus of national concern.
This is also where PaLM's main expertise lies: encompassing senior NHS practitioners in Family Planning, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Genito-Urinary Medicine, Public Health, and Health Promotion and Training.
Since 2006, PaLM have evolved and delivered annually a Short Course in SRH and Sex and Relationships Education. This involves working directly with final year Clinical Officer Students in preparation for a visit to a local school, where CO students run small group workshops with pupils.
This annual intervention has underpinned and permitted the evolution of the link.
The course focuses on sexual and reproductive health in community contexts, with an emphasis on working with young people.
Half of the course is spent in local primary schools, running workshops with pupils on puberty, contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In addition to up to date clinical information, the course introduces communication skills suitable for working with young people and with general relevance for use in clinical settings.
The course is evolving each year. Since its inception, a new National Curriculum for Clinical Officers has been introduced. PaLM is working to ensure the Short Course dovetails closely with the new curriculum and also meets the needs of students as they adapt to the new course requirements.
In the past, the PaLM Short Course has included a research project, giving students an opportunity to hone their analytic, writing and oral presentation skills.
Currently, focus is on supporting students with interpretation and presentation of clinical cases.
A constant throughout is the assumption that young people need to acquire not just factual information, but the confidence to talk about sex and relationships, and strategies for negotiating positive outcomes. The programme includes work with peer groups, parents and the wider community.
See the Resource Pack for the 2011 Programme