To engage young people in a policy dialogue with the Director General of Family Planning (DGFP), and other delegates joining International Conference on Family Planning 2018 from Bangladesh, SERAC-Bangladesh organized a youth meeting with the DGFP at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Dhaka with around 50 youth participants on Sunday, October 7, 2018.
Md. Mahabub Ul Alam, Program Manager, Field Service Delivery of DGFP attended the meeting. He said, “DGFP wants to engage young people and SERAC-Bangladesh as an active youth platform can rely on the voice of youth to DGFP for better meaningful youth participation”. He also added an integrated plan of outreach and facility-based services should be introduced for better impact.
Investing in youth in a country where young people amounting to one-third of the country’s total population itself is a lifetime of returns. Consequently, many young people in Bangladesh face a challenge to access contraception due to social stigma, lack of information and some policy limitations.
S M Shaikat, Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh talking in the event
S M Shaikat, Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh moderated the meeting while Associate Program Officer Tasnia Ahmed and Program Officer Sadia Rahman co-facilitated. SERAC-Bangladesh officials including Assistant Director Abdul Wadud, Program Associate Nusrat Sharmin Resma, Field Coordination Officer Tanzima Islam, Program Associate Syeda Sharika Arafin, and Dhaka Divisional Coordinator Nazmul Hasan also attended the event.
Most noteworthy, youth participants discussed the impact of unmet need among adolescents in the meeting. Addressing this issue, Saire Bidhun, SERAC campus coordinator of Eden College mentioned, “There are many youth-adolescents who need to access family planning information and services but do not have”.
Bushra Noor, an intern doctor marked, “Policy of providing family planning information that only limited to married couples creates additional restrictions on youth and adolescents”. Dr. Abu Sufian echoed the same issue mentioning that social stigma around sexual and reproductive health is a huge barrier.
Furthermore, the meeting participants demanded DGFP to communicate these messages by amplifying in the ICFP in Kigali.