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Adolescents, who make up about 25 percent of the population of Bangladesh, have limited access to reproductive health (RH) information and services. With age at marriage increasing, young people are vulnerable to a variety of RH risks, including unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In 1999, FRONTIERS tested the feasibility, impact, and cost of several interventions to improve the RH of adolescents. The intervention took place in two experimental urban sites, while a third control site received prevailing services. Both sites received the community intervention, which involved sensitization and outreach to community stakeholders to encourage local support. Out-of-school adolescents were offered a 20-session “life skills” curriculum that included RH, and peer educators organized community events with RH themes. The experimental sites also received a clinical component, in which providers offered a variety of affordable, adolescent-friendly services. One site also received a school-based intervention, in which trained teachers provided the life-skills curriculum to eighth- and ninth-level students. As noted in this brief, school and community education schemes increased young people’s understanding of RH, and the establishment of links between schools and adolescent-friendly clinics increased the use of RH services.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health