‘Pre-adolescent FP policy a must for youths’ access to info’
Published : Wednesday, 9 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 709
Monjun Nahar, manager, advocacy and communication, MARIE STOPES Bangladesh (MSB) said that Family Planning is a pre marital plan and it is very important especially for the youth and newly-married couples.
"The adolescent and young people have the right to get access to information on Family Planning (FP) and Reproductive Health and Sexual Issues (RHSH)," she made this comment at a dialogue session on "Youth Family Planning: Challenges and Opportunities" organized by Team Associates Communication in support from MSB at the Bishwa Shahittyia Kendro recently.
A group of young representatives who participated in the programme came up with different observation on the present status of FP and RHSR services for the adolescent and young people.
Md. Shariful Islam, a student from Stamford University, Department of
Political Science said that very often the young people and adolescents are denied information on FP and RHSH as marriage is a pre condition to access FP and RHSH services in the perspective of Bangladesh.
Referring to the policymakers he also said that in many cases they are not fully aware about adolescents' needs and demands that vary from time to time.
"Such problems could be solved if government takes some pre youth adolescent policies," he added.
Bulbul Ahmed, another youth representative from North South University, Department of Business Studies, said that government should ensure youth friendly services such as door to door outreach services to deliver information on FP.
"The adolescent and young people will be definitely benefit if government ensures a friendly environment and a sensitive service provider, who has patience to listen to us," he said.
In her presentation Monjun Nahar also noted that a vast number of adolescent girls get dropped out every year during their menstrual cycles due to social taboos and discriminatory gender based norms.
She noted that the number of drop outs could be decreased if girls' reproductive health and sexual rights issues was seen from broad based perspective rather than from the confines of the existing taboos.
Emphasizing the availability of information services, she said that the existing unmet needs on FP, availability of counselling focusing on pre marital plan and RHSR, could be achieved if the information services are available in the private medical college and hospitals too.
In this regards she also informed that government can jointly work with private medical colleges and hospitals too to ensure the FP and RHSH.
"Government should ensure free access to the information of FP and RHSR for the adolescent and unmarried young people. No doubt government will be able to achieve FP2020 goals, if these services are available," she said.
When asked what steps government could take to ensure such services, she said that an effective monitoring cell should monitor if the existing orders is being implemented by the respective authority.
"We know that the reproductive health issue is being included in the curriculum (school book), but teacher hardly talk about it. So our girls and boys are an obscure idea of the issue of RHSH," she added.
Pulak Raha, an official of the Team Associates Communication, Molla Mahmud Ahmed, family planning expert and journalist from various media were also present at the programme and exchanged ideas.
Room 2011 used as a torture cell
Room No 2011 of Sher-e-Bangla Hall of Bangladesh Univer-sity of Engineering and Technology (BUET), where Abrar Fahad was beaten to death on Monday morning, was used as a torture cell by some activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) BUET unit.
A classmate of Abrar, told The Daily Observer that the room used to be used as a torture cell.
Amit Saha, BUET BCL unit's deputy legal affairs secretary and student of Civil Engineering Department and three others were allotted the room.
Ashikul Islam Bitu, assistant secretary of Chhatra League (BUET Unit) said, "Abrar was called from Room No 1011 of the Hall and taken to Room No 2011 at 8:00pm on Sunday.
"He was questioned by Mujtaba Rafid, deputy office secretary, also a third-year student of Chemical Engineering Department, Iftee Mosharraf Shokal, deputy social secretary, and Amit Saha, deputy law secretary of BCL BUET Unit," Bitu said.
Police did not arrest Amit Saha, though he was identified in the CCTV footage.
Police arrested a total of 13 leaders and activists of BCL in connection with the killing of Abrar.
Three residents of Room No 2011 including Amit Saha went into hiding after Abrar had been beaten to death.
According to Sher-e-Bangla Hall students, some followers of BUET BCL unit's general secretary Russell was present when Abrar was beaten to death inside Room No. 2011.
Abrar Fahad was a second-year student of BUET's Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE).