Dhaka, Bangladesh
FPAB success in reproductive health sector praised

FPAB success in reproductive health sector praised

News Report The government is highly impressed by unique success made by the Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) in the field of education on reproductive health issues and the Education Ministry will take effective initiatives in this connection. Stating this at an orientation programme, organized by the FPAB at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka Wednesday, Secretary-in-Charge of the Education Ministry Mohammad Mahiuddin Khan said the Ministry will devise ways and means to include reproductive health issues in teachers' training courses so that they could keep students aware of different issues and their positive solutions. Reproductive health issues will get adequate focus in teacher' training curriculum so that students could no more feel embarrassed to talk about their issues which were earlier kept a well-guarded secret, Mohammad Mahiuddin Khan said. The orientation programme was chaired by FPAB President Masud Rahman and participated by by Dr AFM Matiur Rahman, Executive Director of the Association, says a press release. Speaking on the occasion, Additional Secretary of the Education Ministry Javed Ahmed said unless the adolescents are educated enough to handle their reproductive health issues, they will become a burden on the society. "Let us teach them adequately on reproductive issues so that they could be real demographic dividends of the country," he said. Officials attending the orientation said in Bangladesh, adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19 years account for 36 million or 22 per cent of the total population. Of them, approximately 18 million are adolescent girls. FPAB President Masud Rahman asked if we could discuss openly health biological concerns of flora, fauna and animals, why can't we discuss issues of human health. A well-known private sector entrepreneur, the FPAB President said adolescent years are characterized by a period of physical and psychological changes, for girls and boys alike, as they transition into adulthood. Awareness about sexual and reproductive health among teenagers is still relatively low, and information and knowledge gathered is often not accurate, this in turn leads to very poor health seeking behavior among teenagers, he said. " A sense of shame and taboos further constrain teenagers' ability to access accurate information and sexual and reproductive health services, " Masud Rahman said. A leading researcher on population and FPAB Executive Director Dr AFM Matiur Rahman said the adolescents report it is difficult for them to discuss physical and psychological problems with parents and other family members. "School teachers are also reluctant to discuss issues related to sexual and reproductive changes and health with their pupils." Dr Rahman advised parents and teachers to speak to teenagers more openly. There is a clear need for comprehensive sexuality education in Bangladesh as teenagers can only make informed decisions about their bodies and avoid risky behavior if they have accurate information. There can be student counselors in secondary schools on this account, the FPAB executive director said. Presenting her keynote paper, Professor Quazi Afroz Jahanara, Institute of Education & Research (IER), University of Dhaka, said most people prefer not to talk about young people's sexuality as they think that doing so will encourage young people to engage in early sexual activity. As a result, the vast majority of adolescents lack the information, skills and services to make their own healthy choices. Adolescents in Bangladesh, and particularly girls, face enormous challenges: the country has the fourth highest rate of child marriage. The expectation is that girls start childbearing immediately after marriage, with high morbidity and mortality as a result, she said. Others who spoke at the orientation course included Additional Secretary, Education Ministry, Prof Dr SM Wahiduzzaman, Direcrto General, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Professor Narayan Chandra Saham Chairman, NCTB, Professor Kaniz Syeda Benta Sabah, Principal, Govt Teachers Training College, Dhaka.

Share |