Taboo bars adolescents from getting SRHR: Researchers

Adolescents are not getting proper health care, especially issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights due to social taboo and stigma, said researchers on an event organized by the Population Council on Wednesday in the Capital.

Researchers found that many of the adolescent boys and girls, especially those who are not married, are not getting proper health care and service though the government has set up a special corner in many of the Maternal and Child Welfare Center and Union Health and Family Welfare Center to give them appropriate knowledge, information and service.

The research, supported by UNFPA, was conducted in five districts of Bangladesh. The data were collected from April to October last year (2016) in Moulvibazar, Thakurgaon, Sirajganj, Patuakhali, and Cox’s Bazar.

They said, marriage rate before the age of 18 is 59 percent, according to the latest Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. But the young people, especially girls who are not married, cannot go to these health care center because of social taboo and stigma.

Many adolescent girls complained that people think the girl is pregnant or she has severe reproductive health problem or complicated diseases if they go to these centers. Many of them asked for separate waiting room for girls in these centers.

The study recommended for more publicity at the local and national level and generating awareness about the importance of those special corners in the community.

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