176027 Creating space for men at female- focused service delivery system in rural areas in Bangladesh

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:30 PM

Marium ul Mutahara , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Ubaidur Rob, PhD , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Ismat Ara Hena , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
In general, men in Bangladesh have inadequate reproductive health (RH) knowledge and suffer from various RH problems including STIs and psychosexual disorder. They do not seek services from qualified service providers. The government health centers located in rural areas are female-focused and hence do not cater to the health needs of men. Findings from a need assessment study showed that service providers at these facilities are not adequately trained to provide RH services. A quasi experimental separate sample pre-test post-test design was adopted to evaluate the impact of targeted interventions to increase utilization of health services from the government health centers in rural areas by males. A total of 1648 married men and 824 unmarried youth were interviewed to collect the required information. The key intervention is the capacity building of service providers and strengthening health centers to provide male and youth-friendly services. In addition, a mechanism to involve community groups and peer promoters has been tested for estabishing a provision for as well as promoting male and youth friendly services. Several innovative behavior change communication activities are introduced to raise awareness. Preliminary findings suggest that the attendance of male clients increased considerably without adversely affecting the utilization of services of women. Introduction of systematic screening helped to identify unmet needs of male clients. Awareness about the availability of male RH services among men and youth was substantially increased. Particularly peer promoters played a major role in motivating young men to receive services. Community support groups effectively carried out local-level planning, monitoring and supported project activities.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Describe how capacity building including training on syndromic management of RTIs and STIs and facility strengthening enables service providers to provide information on RTIs/STIs and family planning as well as related services to men and youth 2. Describe how a community can be involved in effective health education and awareness raising activities and in planning and monitoring services 3. List how systematic screening helps to identify unmet needs of males

Keywords: Male Reproductive Health, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the core team members of the operations research study on which the abstract is based
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.