Improving sexual and reproductive health of female adolescents in Bangladesh by providing information and services
Bhuiya,Ismat; Rob,Ubaidur; Chowdhury,Asiful Haider; Khan,M.E.; Rahman,Laila; Adamchak,Susan E.
Population Review 45(2): 60-71
Publication date: 2006
There are 14 million female adolescents in Bangladesh. Half of them aged 15-19 years are married. A large majority of adolescents are ignorant about sexuality, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV and AIDS. Attempts to address the needs of the adolescents through the existing health and education systems have so far been inadequate despite relevant policies have been in place. The country is facing the challenge of implementing the policies in an effective manner. This study was carried out to assess the feasibility of providing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services, and to assess its impact on knowledge, attitude and service utilization. A quasi-experimental design with pre-post measurements was used. Interventions included training of teachers, facilitators, and service providers for providing SRH information and services to adolescents in schools, communities, and health facilities respectively. Interventions resulted in a significant increase in the level of SRH knowledge among adolescents compared to the control site. Adolescents who were exposed to the interventions showed more favorable attitudes towards use of health facility for contraceptives services and use of condom by unmarried sexually active adolescents than the non-exposed in the experimental sites. This was also translated into the increased use of health facilities for SRH services.