Sindhuli, April 1
Government health centres set up for providing sex and reproductive health education to teenagers in Sindhuli have been found highly effective of late.
The government had set up health centres aiming to provide necessary guidance and counselling to teenagers on sex and reproductive health. Family Health Division established such centres with financial and technical aid from the United Nations Population Fund. As many as 24 health centres provided such education while a total of 30 secondary schools were developed as information centres. Trained health workers and teachers provide such education to youths at these centres.
UNFPA Sindhuli district programme officer Sanjaya Sharma said adolescents were informed about various physical changes they undergo during teenage, sex and reproductive health, adverse consequences of unsafe sexual relationship, HIV/AIDS, health complexities caused by early marriage and premature pregnancy, avoiding unwanted pregnancy, use of contraceptives and use of sanitary pads during menstruation, among others. “Though they initially hesitated to talk about sex and reproductive health, they have now started discussing these issues openly in the schools and health facilities of late,” said officer Sharma.
Shitalpati Health Post in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality-6, the first certified health centre to have launched the programme effectively, recorded some 10 teenagers who visited the centre and talked openly about issues considered taboo in their society so far.
“Initially, the youths seemed reluctant to talk about reproductive health but now they share their curiosities and problems without hesitation,” said in-charge and assistant health worker Nisha Baral at Shitalpati Health Post.
Pradip Majhi, a 10th grader at Dirgha Pradeep Secondary School, said hundreds of adolescents had benefited from the programme. Another adolescent Sajina Majhi of grade nine said she came to know how to maintain personal hygiene during menses.
UNFPA Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme Officer Manju Karmacharya said three health centres in 2015 and two in 2018 were certified for conducting the programme effectively. Besides Shitalpati Health Post, Basheshwor Health Post, Shirthauli Health Post, Belghari Primary Health Centre and Chapauli Primary Health Centre have been certified in the district so far.
Senior Public Health Administrator Dilli Raman Adhikari at Family Health Division said such programmes were crucial for adolescents.
He said the government was preparing to set up at least 13 such health centres in each district across the country in the near future. As many as 1,034 health facilities across the country are providing sex and reproductive health education at present.
Each health facility must obtain at least 80 points during monitoring and supervision for certification.
A version of this article appears in print on April 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.