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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1115-1116
Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people in developing nations


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people in developing nations. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1115-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people in developing nations. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 16];10:1115-6. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1115/217537


Dear Editor,

Globally, the current cohort of young people aged 10-24 years is the biggest till date, which amounts to 1.8 billion people, of whom 9 out of 10 are from developing nations.[1] These young people from developing nations have an enormously high burden of diseases, disabilities, and death rates, in contrast to their counterparts from developed nations.[1] Further, most of the developing nations are regarded as multiburden nations, in terms of a wide range of health problems to which the adolescent populations have been exposed to.[1],[2]

As a matter of fact, ailments related to improper sexual and reproductive health (SRH) accounts for a significant amount of disability among young people, with factors like child marriage, unintended pregnancy, and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) accounting for the enormous burden on their health standards.[2] There is no doubt that pregnancy at an early age has serious consequences not only in terms of increased risks of maternal or neonatal mortality but also being responsible for dropping out of school, reduced productivity, and aggravation of poverty; the worst part is that 95% of global adolescent childbirth has been reported in developing nations.[2],[3] Further, in 90% of the cases, early or unintended pregnancy is the direct result of child marriage, due to which girls are disproportionately affected with regard to their SRH, mental health, psychosocial well-being, and reduced potential for educational or financial growth or being independent.[1],[4]

In addition, the current trends of HIV suggest that every 2 min, one adolescent in the 15-19-year age group acquires HIV infection, and no decline in HIV-attributed death rates has been observed despite a reduction in the death rates in all population groups.[1],[5] Even though the available facts suggest an extensive impact of impaired SRH on the different dimensions of a young person's life, it is quite alarming that only little progress has been made till date.[2] Thus, the current demographic and epidemiologic profile of distribution of the diseases clearly suggests the need to divert attention of policy makers toward improvement in the health standards of adolescent and young people living in developing nations.[1],[2]

It is very essential to realize that no solitary intervention can prove effective for all their needs or in heterogeneous settings.[2] In-fact, the success of any intervention depends on its necessity, nature of intervention, its formulation, where and how it is implemented, and how it is evaluated.[1] The careful analysis of the effectiveness of different interventions to improve the SRH across the world revealed that for addressing the problem of early unintended pregnancy, measures like ensuring access to contraceptives, peer education, and application of different modes of mass media has delivered encouraging results.[2],[4]

Further, to prevent STIs and HIV, the need of the hour is to motivate people to minimize high-risk sexual behavior (like reducing the numbers of sexual partners or envisaging correct and consistent use of condoms, etc.) through awareness activities, deployment of low-cost and non-invasive methods for testing, and ensuring availability of appropriate treatment for the diagnosed patients.[1],[5] As far as the challenge of ending child marriage is concerned, it is once again important to inculcate the basic idea among people that school attendance is much more beneficial for girls' than their marriage.[1],[2],[3] In-fact, in an attempt to deal with this social issue, policy makers have initiated schemes for financial incentives (like conditional cash transfer, provision of school uniforms or books) have been implemented in some of the nations.[1],[2] However, in the long run, it is difficult to sustain or scale-up due to the monetary constraints, which are quite obvious in developing nations, which have to simultaneously deal with numerous other public health problems.[1]

To conclude, an enormous burden of sexual and reproductive health-related problems have been observed among young people in developing nations and thus there is an immense need to implement high-quality interventions in an integrated manner to be useful, sustainable, and potentially scalable.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Fatusi AO, Young people's sexual and reproductive health interventions in developing countries: Making the investments count. J Adolesc Health 2016;59:S1-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. What works to improve young people's sexual and reproductive health; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/adolescence/what-works-ASRHR/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Aug 24].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J, Ending child marriage: Battling for a girl's right to choose. Primary Health Care 2016;6:e114.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Sriprasert I, Chaovisitsaree S, Sribanditmongkhol N, Sunthornlimsiri N, Kietpeerakool C, Unintended pregnancy and associated risk factors among young pregnant women. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2015;128:228-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shaw SY, Metge C, Taylor C, Chartier M, Charette C, Lix L, et al. Teen clinics: missing the mark? Comparing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections rates among enrolled and non-enrolled adolescents. Int J Equity Health 2016;15:95.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.217537

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