|‘Reproductive health of women in Dhubri dist deplorable’|
DHUBRI, Sept 30 - A study conducted by the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) with support from Ipas Development Foundation (IDF) found various sexual and reproductive health-related issues of females in a deplorable state.
Talking to this Correspondent, members of the organisation elaborated that reproductive and sexual health indicators in the district were enough to cause serious concern.
The study included menstruation-related issues, reproductive tract infection and sexually transmitted infection (STI). Problems during conception, pregnancy, anti-natal care and post-natal care, contraception and safe abortion, which were quite high in Dhubri district. It was also informed that such problems were common among females aged between 15 to 24 years.
Teenage pregnancy between the age of 15 and 19 years stood at around 14% in the district, while unplanned pregnancies also affected the total fertility rate, that currently stands at 2.2%, the study revealed.
The organisations jointly implemented a project entitled, ‘Community Mobilisation for Improved Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), including Safe Abortion Services’ in the catchment areas of 12 public health facilities in three districts of Assam, namely Dhubri, Goalpara and Nagaon.
“Till the month of August, the project reached out to approximately 29,000 target groups in 154 villages under Chapar, Gauripur, Agomoni and Halakura area in Dhubri district which includes school adolescents too,” said Rajashri Saikia, Programme Coordinator. She added that they were made aware of such issues along with sexual rights of females.
It was also informed that females of the district were unaware of rights over their bodies and ignorant about health, hygiene and care which they should be taking for themselves.
“Lack of awareness, less or no education, social taboo and stigma and lack of correct information as well as less access to services often compel the young girls and women, besides young mothers to restrict themselves from taking the correct decision regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights,” the Programme Coordinator added.