The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4299.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 8

Abstract #62299

Strategies to Improve Reproductive Health of Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh: Experiences from a Pilot Project

Ismat Bhuiya, MSc MPH, Ubaidur Rob, M.E. Khan, PhD, and Laila Rahman, MCom. Bangladesh Country Office, Population Council, House # CES (B) 21, Road # 118, Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 880 2 882-1227,

In Bangladesh, of the 32 million adolescents, 51% are girls. Half of them aged 15-19 years are married. 70% of the pregnant girls under age 20 receive no antenatal care while 97% of births occur at home. They lack knowledge about their reproductive health (RH) and have poor access to health services. Inevitably, both married and unmarried adolescent girls are at risk for various RH problems including unwanted pregnancies, risks associated with early pregnancy, and STIs/HIV/AIDS.

Considering the situation, a study was launched to improve the RH of adolescent girls by providing information and services. Two population-based surveys were carried out before and after interventions. Trained teachers and youth conducted RH sessions at schools and community respectively. They reached 5161 out of 10,954 girls with RH information. Service providers at clinics were trained on adolescent RH service needs and delivering services in friendly manner.

Findings indicated increase in knowledge regarding time of conception during physical development (48%), fertile period (7%), condom (14%), and mother-to-child HIV transmission (11%). Regarding potential health risks of pregnant adolescent, the knowledge was increased by 3%, of them 71% identified anemia as the potential health risk but they were unaware of important life threatening risk factors. The service utilization was increased by 6 times. 37% girls of project area who came for RH services - half were married and 34% school going. Unmarried girls mainly came for tetanus toxoid (80%) and RTI/STI (17%) while those married came primarily for ANC/PNC (45%) and contraceptives (25%).

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Domestic and International Reproductive Health: A Mosaic of Adolescent Experiences

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA