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National level workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) Services in Nepal

July 27, 2011 – July 28, 2011

The WHO report on Women and Health that was issued in 2009 analyzes how interventions in childhood, through adolescence, during reproductive years and beyond, affect health later in life and across generations. The report also draws attention to the consequences and costs of failing to address health issues at the appropriate points of women’s lives.  MLI in collaboration with the WHO is working with the Family Health Division of Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to bring attention to the recommendations made in the WHO report, specifically around Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH).

MLI supported a two-day national policy dialogue on adolescent friendly health services specifically in the context of sexual and reproductive health and HIV in Kathmandu, Nepal from July 27th to the 28th. The event, led by the Family Health Division of the MoHP, was organized by SISo Nepal and collaborating partners included UNICEF and GIZ/GFA Consulting Group. The workshop was attended by not only policymakers, but also by the adolescents that ASRH decisions affect, including those identified as vulnerable and at-risk.

In Nepal, one fifth of girls aged 15 to 19 have been pregnant and few adolescents utilize ASRH services from any kind of health facility. The two main reasons for low service utilization rates are that ASRH services are not welcoming and friendly and not easily accessible. For this reason, the MoHP deemed it important to include adolescents in strategy, guidelines and training package development.

The workshop was facilitated in a manner that allowed adolescents to freely express their views and needs regarding adolescent friendly health and counseling services. It also included presentations by program specialists to share the experience of adolescent friendly health services in other country contexts, along with interactive plenary sessions, presentations, group work, and role-plays.

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