Adolescent Reproductive Health

Bangladesh

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A feedback box, standard in Marie Stopes health clincs, provided for non-literate clients who wish to comment on their experience

 

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There is no formal reproductive health education program for youth in Bangladesh. Socio-cultural attitudes do not encourage young people to learn about sexual health and pre-marital sex is traditionally taboo; because of this, no reproductive health education curricula have been standardized.

Governmental health care structures are not in place to serve the urban poor population in Bangladesh, and health clinics in remote or rural areas of the country lack sufficient governmental support. Non-governmental organizations are responsible for much of the current reproductive health research and improvement plans. They are also responsible for a significant number of the youth-friendly reproductive health projects being offered in increasing numbers to Bangladeshi youth and adolescents living in poverty.

Providing youth with safe spaces to ask questions and receive accurate information is extremely important. Engaging in sexual behavior without resources available to take care of their bodies, dismiss misinformation, and make informed and healthy sexual decisions can lead to very negative physical, emotional, and social consequences for young people.

There is evidently concern from community members and health service providers regarding the availability of adolescent reproductive health services at health centers in both urban and rural areas. Program managers and service providers at health clinics have reiterated that they receive almost unanimous parental support for their programs. Published studies indicate that families, school teachers, and community members support the idea of incorporating elements of adolescent reproductive health education into school programs.

The customary urge to shield youth from information, hoping instead that eventual self-education through experience will be adequate, does not do enough to protect or prepare. When youth are provided with accessible reproductive and sexual health education, they are better capable of negotiating potentially risky situations. This site examines some of the reproductive health initiatives in place in different areas of Bangladesh today.

 

A Demographic Overview of Bangladesh

 

Dhaka – The Capital City

   

Habiganj – A Rural Northwestern District

   

Research and Sources for this Site

   

Created on December 19th, 2007, for Politics 116 with Professor Vinnie Ferraro, Mount Holyoke College

Molly McCue, Class of 2008