Patna: Bihar goverment today signed a memorandum of understanding with an international organisation EngenderHealth for important health related programmes for adolescent representative and sexual health (ARSH).
Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) programme is an important component under Reproductive and Child Health H (RCH H) program of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
The programme aims at improving the health of adolescents through creating awareness among adolescents on ARSH issues, generating demand for ARSH services and making quality services available and accessible to teenagers.
The MOU was signed by Sanjay Kumar, Executive Director on behalf of Bihar state health society. EngenderHeath representative Hari Singh initialled the MOU on behalf of his organisation.
Adolescents form 24 per cent of the population of Bihar. National family health survey III reveals that 69 per cent of the girls marry before the legal age at marriage.
One in four girls aged 15-19 years are bearing child and 66.40 per cent adolescents are anaemic.
The three factors contribute to increased risk of maternal mortality among adolescents and infant mortality among infants born to teenage mothers. The survey also shows that 35.5 per cent adolescents have unmet needs for contraception.
Infant mortality among infants born to teenage mothers is 84 per thousand live births.
The government of Bihar realising the need for urgent actions to improve adolescent health has developed a comprehensive plan for the year 2012-13 focused on capacity building of service providers, increasing awareness about the adolescent health issues, and ensuring provision of quality adolescents friendly health services, Sanjay Kumar said.
It was expected that the partnership would help achieve the strengthening the training system, follow up, coaching of trained service provider to provide quality health service, improve quality of ARSH services, increase utilisation of ARSH services by adolescents and establishing a strong evidence based monitoring and evaluation system.