TRAction is currently funding a research study in Bangladesh on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH). This study builds on an existing SRH database compiled from the findings of a comprehensive study on adolescent SRH conducted by icddr,b, a social research institution in Bangladesh.
Adolescents (ages 10-19) are an important demographic group with special sexual and reproductive health information needs. The original study, conducted in 2000, compiled answers to frequently asked SRH questions (FAQ) by adolescents through formative research and validation processes of expert review and review from a panel of adolescents and parents.
The FAQ databank was subsequently used to develop a set of behavior change communication (BCC) materials titled Nijeke Jano, or “Know Yourself.” Since production, over 3 million booklets of Nijeke Jano have been widely used by programs across various adolescent health initiatives. In addition, 10 million copies of the HIV/AIDS Nijeke Jano booklet have been distributed through the national HIV prevention project for youth with support from the Global Fund. With increasing access to and prevalence of electronic media, the target population of adolescents now has better access to information than the ever before. In light of the shifting context and relationship between technology, social media, and evolving social norms regarding SRH behavior patterns, updating the adolescent SRH FAQ databank is a top priority.
In this context, icddr,b, through the TRAction project, is conducting follow-up research to develop an updated databank and identify the changes in SRH needs of adolescents compared to 2000.
Using an exploratory cross-sectional design, and comparable methodology, the TRAction study collected around 5,000 SRH questions from adolescents. Socially and culturally appropriate answers were developed, reviewed, and validated. The study implemented the following activities in sequence:
Questions were categorized under 17 themes -- family planning, gender, HIV/AIDS, infertility and impotency, marriage, maternal and child health, menstruation, menstrual regulation and abortion, pregnancy, pubertal changes, relationship, sexual harassment, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, gender and violence.
The findings of this study has potential for wide and lasting impact on the SRH of adolescents in Bangladesh. The FAQ databank and BCC materials are available for cross-sectoral use, for all organizations working in SRH and related fields in Bangladesh. The FAQ databank is also accessible via the web at www.jantechai.com
Principle Investigator: Dr. Quamrun Nahar