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HomeOpinionWhy invest in the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in India?

Why invest in the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in India?

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The YP Foundation and the Guttmacher Institute collaborated in the development of “Adding It Up: Investing in the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents in India,” a report that estimates the need for, the impact of and costs associated with providing essential sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents in India. As part of this collaboration, 30 young people across 6 states were capacitated (Kerala, Assam, Odisha, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra) to conduct evidence-based advocacy using the Adding It Up data to advance their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. As a result, 6 youth-led, virtual multi-stakeholder consultations were conducted in February 2021 at the state level to address the urgent needs and recommendations pertaining to young people’s Sexual and Reproductive Health. The reflections were documented into an insights report collating findings from all states.

Also read: World Youth Skills Day: The Future Is Young

On April 22, 2021, the YP Foundation and the Guttmacher Institute held a youth-led national virtual dialogue: “Youth Insights on Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” to explore the Adding It Up Report as well as the insights gathered over the course of the six state-level consultations. The virtual dialogue attendees included officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), state and district officials working on RKSK and Family Welfare, technical agencies, young people, activists, and national NGOs and CSOs working on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Key Findings from the Adding It Up Report, March 2021:

● Providing contraceptive care, maternal and newborn health care, and abortion-related care to all adolescent women in India who need these services would cost ₹11.42 (US$0.16) per capita annually.

● 2 million adolescent women in India have an unmet need for modern contraception.

● 78% of abortions among adolescents are unsafe and thus carry an elevated risk for complications.

● If all needs for maternal, newborn and abortion-related health care were met, annually there would be 732,000 fewer unintended pregnancies and 482,000 fewer unsafe abortions among adolescents.

Recommendations from the 6 state-level multi-stakeholder engagements:

● Increase awareness around existing avenues that institutionalise youth voices while planning policies and programmes.

● Mandate age-appropriate SRHR information within school-based health programmings such as the SHP and the RKSK.

● Include unmarried youth and adolescents under the ambit of MPV focus states.

● Create state and national level adolescent health helplines to increase the reach of services and information on SRH and promote them through messaging in schools and in communities.

● Address workload on frontline and community health workers, RKSK peer educators and AFHC counsellors (which directly affects the quality of service delivery and information dissemination) by drafting comprehensive frameworks with clear demarcation of roles and expectations, appointing fixed counsellors and avoiding random rotations.

● Incorporate youth-friendly content and rights-based messaging in SBCC material and support and sustain digital platforms that share accurate, rights-based SRH information.

Insights from the National Dialogue:

The event was held virtually on 22nd April 2021 from 11 am to 1.30 pm and involved the exploration of the “Adding it Up: Investing in the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents in India” report and the various findings, good practices, recommendations and commitments gathered from the six state-level consultations. The event also held space for a multi-stakeholder dialogue where several representatives from technical agencies and national organisations like Population Foundation India (PFI), Ipas, UNFPA and Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) as well as officials on behalf of the Adolescent Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) inputted on the recommendations that were presented by young people and shared further good practices, existing gaps in programmes and priority areas. The final segment of the meeting presented the Toolkit on Contraception Advocacy developed by The YP Foundation which was used as an integral part of the engagement to build the capacity of the six youth cohorts. The toolkit will be launched next month for public access in 5 languages (Assamese, Odia, Marathi, Hindi and Malayalam).

The toolkit is aimed at young people who are interested in contraception advocacy and adolescent sexual and reproductive health policy and programming in India.

Presenters: Susheela Singh – Distinguished Scholar and Vice President for Global Science and Policy Integration, Guttmacher Institute; Manak Matiyani – Executive Director, The YP FoundationSouvik; Pyne – Senior Program Officer, Policy Engagement and Research, The YP Foundation; Shruti Venkatesh – Coordinator, Policy Research, The YP Foundation; Arjun Unnikrishnan – Youth Cohort Member, The YP Foundation; Ragini Bordoloi – Youth Cohort Member, The YP Foundation; Prerna Laddha – Youth Cohort Member, The YP Foundation

Reports

Adding It Up: gu.tt/indiayouth

Youth Insights on Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: http://theypfoundation.org/…/TYPF-Report-Youth-Insights

Contact Us For any further queries: Please contact,[email protected] or [email protected] The YP Foundation

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