USAID-FOGSI publishes guidelines for sexual and reproductive awareness among young people
The Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on Monday released guidelines for adolescent and youth friendly health services ( AYFHS) aimed at increasing awareness of reproductive and sexual health. problems for young people.
The guidelines developed in association with the Adolescent Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be used by providers as a reference document for the provision of high quality, confidential and non-judgmental services to young people.
“Adolescence is one of the most remarkable and distinct phases for men and women, revolving around physical, psychological, sexual and social issues. Healthy adolescents are the backbone of any country. These guidelines were enriched by technical contributions from senior officials of the Adolescent Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India (GOI) ”, said Dr S Shantha Kumari, president of FOGSI.
FOGSI and USAID also launched the Pankh Initiative to educate young people about reproductive health issues. Pankh, which means “wings” in Hindi, aims to raise awareness of safe sexual behavior and the appropriate use of contraceptives without stigma or judgment. The Initiative will introduce the “Talk Bejhijhak” campaign to facilitate technically accurate and non-judgmental conversations between FOGSI member physicians across India and young people.
FOGSI members will provide a safe environment where young people and adolescents can ask questions about sexual and reproductive health and eliminate the “jhijhak,” the reluctance they often experience when talking to doctors about contraception and health. sexual.
The campaign will include an anonymous helpline – 1800 258 0001 – where trained counselors can answer questions and help facilitate face-to-face consultations at clinics when needed.
“There needs to be more awareness and that health professionals be sensitive to the needs of this age group. I applaud all of the FOGSI members who participated in the conceptualization and writing of the AYFHS guidelines. This is an important proactive step, which can be easily adopted by the current healthcare delivery system, ”said Dr Alpesh Gandhi, outgoing President of FOGSI.
The covid-19 pandemic has brought to light all aspects of health, including reproductive health. Lack of access to contraceptive options during the lockdown is estimated to have caused 2.7 million unintended pregnancies and the disruption induced by covid-19 continues to erode messages about contraceptives and reproductive health. India is home to the world’s largest population of adolescents and young people aged 10-24. Young people struggle with the limited availability of accurate reproductive health information and services for them and their needs.
“In the spirit of SDG 17 which calls for partnerships to achieve development goals, an issue of this scale and complexity requires more partners to join hands. FOGSI seeks to rally more businesses, foundations, philanthropists, donors and development organizations to expand the Pankh initiative beyond the 4 pilot cities, ”said Dr Madhuri Patel, Secretary General.
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