214093 Bangladesh – Successful education of rural parents on how to communicate with adolescents on sexual and reproductive health

Monday, November 8, 2010

Muhammad Munir Hussain , Health Department, Plan International, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Selina Amin, MBBS MPH , Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
BACKGROUND. In Bangladesh, adolescents are living with strong family bondage and dependent on their parents for decisions which could affect their life and development, e.g. early marriage, early pregnancy and services for safe motherhood. As a result, a better understanding of the needs of adolescents by the parents and an improved adolescent-parent communication is very important. THE PROJECT. Since 2008, Plan International, a child-centered humanitarian organization, has initiated a four-year ‘Adolescent Parenting' intervention for the parents of adolescents in 510 communities with a total of 818,000 inhabitants. Interested, motivated parents with leadership skills were selected as Peer Educators for each group of fifty parents living in same geographical area. An unique training manual on ‘Adolescent Parenting' was used, with topics including understanding adolescence, adolescent changes and its manifestations in behavior, peer influence on adolescents and socio-cultural factors. Peer educators conveyed the knowledge from the training to their peer parents in four to five informal sessions. Sessions were usually conducted at informal settings e.g. tea stall, cloth washing spot at pond side, or at neighbor's houses with convenient timing for all. RESULTS. About 6000 peer educators have been trained (3500 women). Participating parents noticed that after the training, they were better equipped to discuss and to orient their adolescents on sensitive topics, helping to an improved adolescent-parent relationship and better health and social behaviours. NEXT STEPS. In the next two years, Plan International plans to scale up this intervention among new populations and phasing out from the initial area of application.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the opportunities and challenges of educating parents to communicate effectively with their adolescent children on sexual and reproductive health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I supervised the project presented.
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.