Demand-based Reproductive Health Commodity Project: Creating a Space for Men and Youth at Health and Family Welfare Centers
Council researchers tested the feasibility of providing access to reproductive health services among men and youth in rural areas of Bangladesh.
Men in Bangladesh are poorly informed about reproductive health issues, particularly symptoms, transmission, and prevention of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Similarly, young people lack access to reproductive health information and services. Among poor, rural, unmarried youth, awareness of contraception and reproductive health issues is low. Usually, underserved population groups do not seek services for illnesses from qualified providers.
The Population Council conducted operations research to increase access to reproductive health services for men and youth in Bangladesh. The overall aim of the project was to provide reproductive health services—especially RTI/STI services—for men and youth at female-focused health centers without compromising the services provided to women and children. Specific objectives of the project included: improving the technical knowledge and skill of service providers for men and youth through training and orientation; strengthening infrastructure and preparing the logistics system to provide men- and youth-friendly services; raising awareness about reproductive health needs and services for men and youth through community support groups and peer promoters; and introducing behavior change communication interventions to increase awareness among young and adult males regarding reproductive heath issues. The study was conducted in two rural upazilas in low-performing areas from October 2007 to September 2008.
Findings suggest that the percentage of youth that visited health and family welfare centers increased from 11 percent to 14 percent (male youth) and from 11 percent to 19 percent (female youth). Knowledge about reproductive health issues, contraception, maternal health, HIV and AIDS, and STIs increased considerably among young people. Misconceptions about adolescent reproductive health issues (such as menstruation, ejaculation, masturbation, and wet dreams) were reduced. The proportion of men suffering from RTIs/STIs decreased from 35 percent to 23 percent over the intervention period, and the proportion who sought treatment for those problems increased from 48 percent to 61 percent.
Community support groups and peer promoters were effective in creating awareness and educating people about reproductive health needs and the utilization of health services from the health and family welfare centers.
No publications are listed
Location: Bangladesh (Habiganj District, Sylhet Division; Lakshmipur District, Chittagong Division)
Duration: 7/2007 - 3/2009
Population Council researchers:
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b)
John Snow, Inc./DELIVER
National Institute of Population Research and Training
Research, Training and Management (RTM) International
Canadian International Development Agency