Reality Check: Experiences of Young People and Service Providers

Youth Friendly Health Service is a priority program of the Government of Bangladesh, as it is implementing the National Strategy on Adolescent Health and has undertaken the plan of actions on adolescent health. To expand AFHS throughout the country and to extend SRH services to unmarried adolescents in particular, the Bangladesh government has taken some initiatives to focus more on adolescent operation plans to ensure their rights.

With the support from RHRN Bangladesh platform, this qualitative reality check survey was conducted and this report is being published to understand the comparative narrations of the actual situation and the operational plan on the established adolescent friendly health corners. This report presents findings from a qualitative study assessing eight AFHCs, located in four divisions including Sylhet, Barishal, Rangpur and Khulna. Global evidence indicates that integrating adolescent friendly services into existing health delivery systems is more effective than establishing separate or stand-alone youth and/or adolescent centers or clinics. The findings from this study support this, as it appears that AFHCs (which are integrated into existing facilities) are reaching unmarried adolescent girls with a range of health services, both general and SRH-related, through established health facilities. The adolescent girls who received services from AFHCs were generally satisfied with how service providers treated them. But more improvement is needed on those adolescent centers to ensure quality health services.

Acknowledging this fact, RHRN Bangladesh is advocating for the quality, stigma free and youth friendly health services at all the AFHCs with adequate budget allocation and proper monitoring mechanisms. This paper, being a part of the ongoing advocacy process aims to highlight the need of youth friendly and quality health service and to persuade Government and all other concerned stakeholders to stand for adolescent and youth health rights that are safe, youth friendly and quality based.