The challenge of adolescent SRH services in Bangladesh


The adolescent population (between the ages of 10 and 19) covers more than one-fifth of the total population of Bangladesh, which consists of approximately 36 million in total. Currently 52% of the girls get married by the age of 18, and 18% by the age of 15 and the adolescent birth rate is 113 births per 1,000 women. As an essential part of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH), information sessions in school and internet materials could be highly helpful and reliable for the youngsters. Adolescents face tremendous challenges to meeting their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs because of lack of awareness about puberty, sexuality and basic human biological changes. These underlying factors lead to high rates of early pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual violence, limited negotiation skills, forced marriage and high fertility rates. In the National Strategy for Adolescent Health 2017-2030 (NSAH) there is no mention of the third gender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents in the suggested measures, implementation strategies and particularly in the section on vulnerable adolescents and adolescents in challenging circumstances.

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