Promotion of adolescent reproductive health in Serbia

Promotion of adolescent reproductive health in Serbia

G. Rajin, K. Sedlecki, M. Radojevic

Department Republic Centre for Family Planning, Mother and Child Health

Care Institute of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

In Serbia, reproductive health (RH) among adolescents is marked by high rates

of pregnancy, abortion (50 per 1000 females under 20) and sexually transmissible

infections (STIs). To lower these numbers, the Mother and Child Health Care

Institute of Serbia, its department known as the Republic Centre for Family

Planning (RCFP), initiated the Promotion of Adolescent Reproductive Health

Project in February 1999. Despite the highly unfavourable conditions for any

health initiative then, RCFP managed to introduce a new youth-friendly approach

that features counselling services for young people in a variety of community

settings. Its mission is to improve adolescent reproductive health and the

community services that support it. Specifically, the project aims to: increase

adolescent knowledge of sexuality, RH and safe-sex practices; improve young

people’s attitudes toward sexuality and RH, and their skills in dealing with

related issues; improve detection and treatment of RH problems; consolidate

health partnerships among different areas of society and government; encourage

participation of local teachers, health workers and peer educators and develop

community awareness of adolescent needs and support for youth-friendly RH

services. Counselling Service for Young People covers current preventive and

curative health measures, as well as up-to-date educational and promotional

activities. RH counselling service should include: adolescent health education;

individual counselling from a psychologist, a specialist in preventive medicine,

a paediatrician and a gynaecologist, and diagnosis and treatment of RH disorders

in both sexes. Up to now we have been establishing 36 RH counselling centres in

primary health care.

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