Role of comprehensive sex education in family planning

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Muhammad Numan Tahir is a final year medical student at Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Medical College Mirpur AJK, Pakistan. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


 The services that allow couples to achieve desired birth spacing and family size that result in improved health outcomes for infants, women, families and the community are called FAMILY PLANNING. FP education would make people understand the importance of smaller families and longer birth intervals. Smaller families and longer birth intervals have contributed to better health outcomes.

About 5% of reproductive age women have an unintended pregnancy each year with  negative consequence including miscarriage, birth defects, poor mental and physical health and behavioral issues. For many women, FP under comprehensive sex education programs is their entry point into health care system and usual source of care. Family planning services are being provided through health workforce with positive effect on community with some restrictions to use of FP services including

>Cost-effectiveness

>Religious barrier

>Social stigma and pressure

>Lack of awareness and education

>Restriction by in law relations

It is considered a taboo to discuss reproductive health and provide sex education. Sex education is broad term to describe about human sexual anatomy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender role, intimacy and other aspects of human sexual behavior. People are reluctant to discuss about CSE, therefore higher education institutions are taking this serious issue in consideration and emphasizing on training of health professionals to deal with people regarding Sex education.

In many parts of world it is considered that sex education promote sexual activity but not proved by evidence. Moreover, awareness programs and campaigns by health professionals have been proven to reduce misinformation and increase young people’s skills to make informed decisions about family planning. CSE is effective way to prevent sexually transmitted disease like HIV and AIDS.

It is a serious issue to bring in notice of government and stakeholders to promote CSE in collaboration with the health workforce. Medical students can play a major role by discussing CSE with their non-medical friends circle. This would make a channel of information that be resulting in increase awareness and knowledge about comprehensive sex education among adolescents.

A strong education by the health workforce can help adolescents to plan a productive and fulfilling future but without access to reproductive health services they could be interrupted by negative health outcomes. Unfortunately, many adolescents currently live in places that restrict access to these services for young people .

Health system of any country is hierarchy divided into lower, middle and higher cadres. Mid and lower level Health workers are the cornerstone of the health system and play their part in providing an efficient health system and family planning services as they interact directly with the community. Contraceptive is inexpensive and cost-effective intervention for family planning.

By expanding the provision of contraceptive methods to mid and lower level health worker cadres can significantly improve access to contraceptive methods resulting in better family planning services. If you look at the regions of world that have greatest progress in family planning, you will see that all of their strategies have included strong community health workforce and comprehensive sex education. Intention to use contraceptives is higher among those women who are contacted by health workers and take part in family planning discussion as compared to those who are not contacted.

That’s because the role of a health worker is crucial. In the health system, task sharing is a promising strategy for addressing the critical lack of health care workers to provide reproductive, maternal and newborn care in low income communities.

Task sharing is envisioned to create a more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among health workers to improve access and cost effectiveness. All these evidence support the point that family planning is result of health workforce and awareness about comprehensive sex education.

About the author

Muhammad Numan Tahir is a final year medical student at MOHTARMA BENAZIR BHUTTO SHAHEED MEDICAL COLLEGE MIRPUR AJK, PAKISTAN. Recently working as executive member of INSAAF DOCTOR FORUM PAKISTAN and head of finance LITERARY SOCIETY MBBS MC MIRPUR for session 2022-2023. He worked with SYNCH PAKISTAN as head of external affairs local cabinet for session 2021-2022. He is also leading his class from front as class representative in the college academic committee. He has a great innovative and revolutionary personality having great qualities of head and heart. He has great zest and enthusiasm towards his profession and he will hammer out his ways to success.

Comments

  1. Muhammad Numan Tahir says:

    Give your comments and reviews to improve it for the next article. Thank you in anticipation.

  2. Muhammad Numan Tahir says:

    Give your comments and reviews to improve it for the next article. Suggestions and criticism are all welcomed. Thank you in anticipation.

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