National Youth Conference on Family Planning unveiled in Bangladesh

News Hour:

Bangladesh 2nd National Youth Conference on Family Planning (BNYCFP 2017) has been inaugurated at Bishwo Shahitto kendro at Dhaka. The event is organized by International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) and SERAC-Bangladesh in partnership with the United Nations Population fund UNPFA- Bangladesh, Partners in Population and Development (PPD), and Right Here Right Now Bangladesh.

More than two hundred students and young professionals from diverse fields participated in the program with a purpose to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights as basic human rights where adolescents and young people will have equal access to reproductive health services, education and access to informed choices.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Dipu Moni, MP, chairperson of parliamentary standing committee on ministry foreign affairs, Dr. Joe Thomas, Executive Director of the partners in population and Development (PPD), Iori Kato, Representative, A.i. of UNFPA Bangladesh and Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh & Country Coordinator of IYAFP S M Shaikat. The inaugural session was moderated by Dr. Tareq Salahuddin, Editor of News Hour.

Chief guest Dr. Dipu Moni said that Bangladesh government has adopted effected and timely policies and programs focusing on young people’s knowledge development, improving access to youth-friendly reproductive health services. However, it is crucial that reproductive health education for youth remains a tabooed topic, particularly among adolescents despite its importance in this delicate stage of their life. Youth should be informed about education, choice, rights, and responsibilities, she added.

PPD Executive Director Dr. Joe Thomas spoke, despite having a number of catastrophic events, Bangladesh still is a strong incumbent to achieve demographic dividend, and the country is very fortunate to have a better access to health care with a very low HIV prevalence than many countries. Just the policies and programs must utilize the youth potential providing them access to a friendly healthcare service.

UNFPA country representative Iori Kato said, Bangladesh has the highest child marriage rate in Asia and a huge number of young adults are unable to access sexual and reproductive health services & rights, and family planning services which is a deadly combination. On his note, he also suggested that there should be the youth-friendly corner in every hospital and clinic to address the needs of young and adolescents.

SERAC-Bangladesh Executive Director S M Shaikat suggested the youths to be pro-active in raising voices for their needs and learning sharing their experiences around health access. Government and development partners should open more spaces for youths in claiming sexual and reproductive health rights programs.

In addition, the second session was spoken by Dr. AFM Matiur Rahman, Ed, FPAB, Mr. Shale Ahmed, Executive director, Bandhu. Dr. kallol Chowdhury. The session is moderated by journalist Abdul Malek Manik. They discuss the RHRN progress 2017, challenges, youth-adult partnership, advocacy initiative.

This conference started on 11th October at 9:30 am and will be continued until 12th October 6:30 pm. Multiple plenary sessions and concurrent capacity building workshops over the two days long program will be hosted by several local, and international organizations focusing knowledge increase on reproductive health and rights, UN

Sustainable Development Goals 3 & 5, and engaging youths with FP2020 goals implementation and monitoring at the country level. The session was gathered by 200 youths.

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