198354 Healthy Lifestyles Course the gateway to adolescent reproductive health

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nana Kvirtia, Medical Doctor , JSI Research&Training Institute, Kutaisi, Georgia
BACKGROUND

Adolescents in the post-Soviet Union country of Georgia have been ignored by policies on health issues. Moreover, a survey of some 600 adolescents showed that knowledge of all types of health issues, especially reproductive health, is extremely low, and there is no place most young people can get accurate information. There is resistance among some parents, teachers and Orthodox Church officials to reproductive health education, which they believe is neither necessary nor appropriate.

PROJECT

To address the information gaps in reproductive health of youth the program developed a Healthy Lifestyle Course (HLC). The course includes topics such as smoking, drug use, puberty, HIV/AIDS , Reproductive Health (RH). A free informational HOTLINE was made available to youth, radio spots were generated and aired .The HLC was extremely popular with youth; it used a variety of highly interactive and entertaining teaching techniques, such as theatre, sports, etc. The enthusiasm generated led to many new events, such as concerts, exhibitions and a peer education program that has recruited some 900 young people to reach their peers one-on-one.

RESULTS

The survey demonstrated that adolescents' awareness on reproductive health issues is very low, but interest in obtaining information is high.

Average score of pre- test of HL Courses was 33percent. Post-test score has increased to 79 percent.

CONCLUSIONS

The program has demonstrated to the Ministry of Education the importance of introducing reproductive health issues at schools.

Learning Objectives:
Participant attending this session will understand why approaching adolescent reproductive health via general healthy lifestyles activities for young school-age adolescents is both the optimal way to change health behavior and to obtain the support and approval of communities and school officials.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, School Health Educators

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a pediatrician, have an experience of working in adolescents reproductive health
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.