Establishing reproductive health education and counselling in military services: The Turkish model

Establishing reproductive health education and counselling in

military services: The Turkish model

S Gungor1, B Bakir2, A Akyuz3,

E Gocgeldi2, CH Acikel2, T Kaya3, M Gulec2, M Hasde2, A

Temiztugay4, R Gul4, H Bebis3, R Pabuccu7, G Yildirimkaya5, T Tuzer5, E Elci5, D

Sen6, AB Albrectsen5

1Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Dept. Obstetrics&Gynecology,

Ankara, Turkey, 2Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Dept. Public Health, Ankara,

Turkey, 3Gulhane Military Medical Academy, School of Nursery, Ankara, Turkey,

4Directorate of Mother-Child Health&Family Planning, Ministry of Health,

Ankara, Turkey, 5UNFPA, Office of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey, 6Gulhane Military

Medical Academy, Dean of School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey, 7Ufuk University,

Dept. Ufuk University, Dept. Obstetrics&Gynecology, Ankara, Turkey

Background Ministry of Health, Mother and Child Health

and Family Planning General Directorate; Turkey Field Office of UNFPA, and

Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GMMA) of Turkish Armed Forces have been

conducting a project to increase male concern and participation in sexual and

reproductive health in a positive and supporting way.

Methods Specialist physicians and nurses from military

hospitals were trained by Ministry of Health trainers (October 2002- September

2003) by one-week courses on interactive training skills. Primary physicians,

nurses and medical petty officers were trained as field trainers and counselors

(March 2003-April 2004). Training rooms with standardized training material were

established in all of the military garrisons. Soldiers were given the one-day

participatory course. Trained medical staff also provided individual counseling

and services. All training rooms were coded and connected to Reproductive Health

Network established within the Intranet of Army. Reproductive Health activities

were included in the regular supervision scheme of the army.

Results Since April 2004 740.000 soldiers were given the

one-day course. A total of 4000 military medical staff as Trainers. A total of

580 training rooms were established. Twenty of Military Hospitals became a

center of reproductive health training and service delivery.


Since large-scale intervention is necessary to reach male

population, the army seems to be the best possible venue in Turkey. Although

there are still many challenges ahead, the experiences of the partners of this

project can be invaluable to other countries all around the world.

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