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ADOLESCENT REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL HEALTH

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Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Programme is one of the important components of the Reproductive and Child Health Programme under National Rural Health Mission. Through this programme betterment of health of adolescents has been anticipated with following expected outcomes: Delay age of marriage, reduce incidence of teenage pregnancies, meet unmet contraceptive needs and reduce the number of maternal deaths, inadequate calorie intake, reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and reduce the proportion of HIV positive cases in the 10-19 years age group. Adolescents cover up roughly one fourth of the overall population in the state of Jharkhand. The morbidity pattern and the psychosocial needs of this segment of population are different from others. Infant mortality rate in Jharkhand is 99 deaths per 1000 live births among child born to teenage mothers compared with 66 deaths per 1000 live births born to mother?s age 20-29 years (NFHS 3). Cases of neonatal mortality (54.2%) and infant mortality (76.5%) are highest among women aged less than 20 years in the country (NFHS-3). The survey also showed that there were lower birth weight (below 2500 grams) babies to mothers who were less than 20 years of age (26.1%) than to those who were older. On the nutrition status of women, the NFHS ? 3 survey also indicates that adolescent girls (15-19 years) have poorer Body Mass Index (19.0) than any other age group (20.0 ? 21.9). In addition, 54.8% of adolescent girls (15-19 years) were anemic. Adolescent mothers are at two to five times higher risk of maternal death. Low nutritional status and anemia contribute to very large extent to maternal deaths. Anemia is a major health problem. 70 percent of women in Jharkhand are anemic (NFHS-3). More than one third of men (37%) is Jharkhand are also anemic. In respect of Nutritional status, the NFHS-3 survey show that 43 percent women and 39 percent men are under weight. Numerous factors, such as the lack of education, poor exposure to information, limited role of women in decision-making, and last but not least, social stereotypes and social economics contribute to the above scenario. The government of Jharkhand is dedicated towards improving the health and wellbeing of adolescents in the state and has drawn up a comprehensive programme reliable with the National guidelines. The strategy adopted is a mix of developing capacity of service providers for delivering quality Adolescent Friendly Health Services, developing capacity of outreach workers for creating awareness and demand for ARSH services in community, develop skills among managers for supervision for quality improvement and community level interventions for improving the health status of adolescents.

Strategies for AdoStrategies for Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health:

  • Capacity building of different stakeholders on the ARSH issues
  • Strengthening the 154 ARSH clinics in the DHs and CHCs.
  • Community level interventions by organizing outreach adolescent week
  • Promotion of health education and communication among the primary and secondary target groups through IEC materials
  • Convergence with other departments for health check ups, nutritional counseling, IFA distribution, life skill distribution
  • Kishori Swaathya Saptah
  • State Level Dissemination Workshop

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