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Health - September 14, 2023

Adolescent health care essential to establish women’s rights

17-point declaration at National SRHR Conference

Staff Correspondent: The two-day ‘National SRHR Conference and Youth Conference-23’, ended on Tuesday with announcing 17-point declaration.
The declaration mentions the importance of ensuring adolescent health care in establishing women’s rights and calls for concerted action by the government and non-governmental organizations in this regard. Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangh (BNPS) organized the conference with technical support of SIMAVI Bangladesh and financial support of the European Union. BNPS project manager Sanjay Majumder read out the announcement at a press conference held at the Liberation War Museum auditorium in the capital.
The function was addressed, among others, by Secretary of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs MdMoshiur Rahman, Director General of NGO Affairs Bureau Sheikh Md. Moniruzzaman, Director of Alliance Française, Dhaka, François Gresjean Executive Director of BNPS RokeyaKabir and Executive Director of Hill Flower DrNilo Kumar Tanchanga spoke at the funciton.
The declaration put emphasis on ensuring youth and adolescent friendly health care at all levels of health care centers.
Menstrual friendly toilets should be installed in all levels of educational institutions, including primary schools, and the necessary materials for menstrual friendly toilets should be provided by the government. For the purpose of development and management of menstrual friendly toilets, the necessary budget allocation should be ensured for educational institutions, said the declaration.
To ensure adolescent and youth friendly health care, specialized manpower or counselors should be appointed in service centers for psychosocial services. Arrangements should be made to distribute free sanitary pads to girl students in schools in remote areas. Effective measures should be taken to prevent gender-based violence, it said.
According to declaration, planning should be done considering different contexts within remote areas while health care activities of satellite clinics and mobile medical teams should be conducted regularly in remote areas and a special budget should be reserved for this.
The declaration also stated that the lack of accurate and useful information on puberty, menstruation, sexual and reproductive health and rights in the secondary level curriculum should be addressed.
School education programs should ensure teaching of adolescence, menstrual health management, sexual and reproductive health and rights, it said.
The relationship between hormonal changes and metabolism with menstruation and the overall health of women and the impact of menstrual irregularities should be taken and included in the curriculum to make people of all ages aware. Government-private organizations should take coordinated initiatives to protect the environment, including dealing with climate change risks, the declaration added. BNPS chairperson Shyamoli Nasreen Chowdhury inaugurated the conference on Saturday with the slogan ‘Ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for youth and adolescents’. The conference was attended by representatives of different development partner agencies, research institutes, university teachers, government departments and civil society and Kishori Club of Chittagong Hill Tracts.

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