Patrick Mwesigye Sewa hails from Uganda and is the Founder and Team Leader at the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF), a youth led and youth serving organization that advocates for, and empowers, adolescents girls and young women to live a quality life in which they can realize their full potential with dignity through health service access and peer-to-peer referral and linkage.

At the age of 27, he holds a wealth of experience in designing and implementing youth led program interventions to ensure vulnerable and poor adolescent girls and young women survive, thrive and develop capacity. Through UYAHF, Patrick has led and facilitated implementation of various projects aimed increasing access to services and information about sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people, including access to contraceptives and services for HIV and maternal health care.

Patrick has also worked with community support groups of women and young people, school clubs, and local community leader within Uganda to develop skills and knowledge to prevent mismanagement of gender-based issues, whilst advocating for women’s rights, and campaigning to eliminate harmful practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, and teenage pregnancy.

UYAHF also implements a menstruation hygiene and management program dubbed “Ensonga”, which literally translates to ‘menstruation’ in local language. The programs targets young people in and out of school, teachers, parents and local leaders, to break stigma against menstruation and promote dignity for all women and girls.

Patrick is founding member for the Adolescents and Youth Constituency for PMNCH and the Co-Convener of Strategic Objective 3 of The Partnership’s 2016-2018 work plan[SH1] . He is also the Vice President of the Africa Youth and Adolescents Network on Population and Development (AfriYAN EAst and Southern Africa).

Patrick has spoken at several national regional and internal conferences including, amongst others, side events at the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016.

Patrick has closely worked with the Ugandan government to advocate for meaningful youth participation and increased political prioritization and investment in adolescent health and wellbeing. He is a member of the National Adolescent Health Technical working group in Uganda, hosted by Ministry of Health, and is also a member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the East and Southern African Commitments on Scaling Up Access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education Youth-Friendly Services. He is member of the Youth Advisory Panel for the United Nations Population Fun East and Southern African Region Office, and also sits on the Uganda Civil Society Core Reference Group for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Patrick is a fellow of the Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, and the Aghakhan University of East Africa. He is also a fellow of the Clinton International Summer School on Peace Conflict Resolutions and Entrepreneurship at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Management from Makerere Univeristy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management from Galilee International Management Institute in Israel.

 

Articles:

Say it with me: Menstruation. Destigmatizing periods for the wellbeing of girls and women.

Why are Africa's Young Women Still Dying in Childbirth?