Speakers at a discussion on Wednesday stressed the need for opening up on sexual and reproductive health in the society to bring awareness on the issue.
They also discouraged marriage before 18 years of age as adolescent pregnancy badly affects reproductive health.
Share-Net Bangladesh, Red Orange Media and Communications, and James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University organised the discussion at a city hotel on sexual and reproductive health rights.
Information minister Hasanul Haque Inu, Netherlands embassy deputy head of mission Martine van Hoogstraten, Share-Net International country coordinator Karen ’T Hooft, and representatives from different nongovernmental organisations spoke at the event.
Inu said that people were typically shy to talk about sexual and reproductive health in the society.
‘Sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights… We should open up discussions on the issues’, Inu said.
He suggested that the school textbooks should incorporate a chapter on sexual and reproductive health so that adolescent boys and girls could gain important knowledge on the issue.
The minister urged the people not to marry off anyone before 18 years of age considering the bad affects of early marriage on reproductive health.
Martine van Hoogstraten said that the Netherlands government would cooperate with the Bangladesh government to establish rights to sexual and reproductive health.
James P Grant School of Public Health project manager Seama Mowri said that they had found a rising trend among adolescent boys and girls living in urban slums to live together without marriage resulting in many adolescent pregnancies.
Marie Stopes Bangladesh representative Tariqul Islam said that the use of tablets for menstrual regulation had increased in the country resulting in the rise of risky and unsafe abortions.
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