Young people in Bangladesh lack sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services, putting them at risk for unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and maternal mortality. Two out of five mothers under age 25 in Bangladesh reported that their last pregnancy was unintended. And since government facilities are only required to provide SRH information and services to married couples, unmarried young people face increased barriers. Yet more than four out of five adolescents ages 15 to 19 have never been married and no national-level data exists to measure their SRH needs.

PRB partnered with SERAC-Bangladesh to develop a brochure and short video series that call on the Directorate General of Family Planning and other decisionmakers to ensure the right of both married and unmarried adolescents to comprehensive SRH information and services as outlined in the National Strategy for Adolescent Health, 2017-2030.

The brochure emphasizes the lack of quality data on SRH representing all adolescents and details the benefits of the government collecting this data. It calls on the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT) and the Directorates General of Family Planning and Health Services to commission the first ever National Adolescent Health Survey and segment SRH data by adolescents’ marital status.

The video series features interviews with young people in Bangladesh as they highlight the need for increased SRH information and services. It targets the Directorate General of Family Planning and advocates for:

  • Recruitment and training of two volunteers at each family welfare center to provide comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health to all young people ages 10 to 24.
  • Removal of the couple number column from the family planning service form.1
  • Extension of service hours at adolescent-friendly health corners to be more convenient for young people, including weekends, by mid-2020.

Overview

Training Volunteers

Couple Number

Extended Hours

References

  1. Couples are assigned a number upon marriage that is requested on the family planning service form adolescents must complete to receive services.