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University officials stress need for more information on reproductive health

Health officials and local authorities need to provide more information about sexual and reproductive health services for young people in the hope of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Unwanted pregnancies are one reason that women cannot get work outside the home and have limited prospects of gaining economic power.
Furthermore, childcare obligations cause women to face discrimination in employment.
These observations were made at a workshop on Monday attended by the President of the University of Health Sciences, Dr Phouthone Vangkonevilay. 
The workshop discussed the provision of special educational materials and research ideas with a view to certifying people working in services related to sexual and reproductive health. The meeting was supported by the Asian-Pacific Research Centre for Women and Family Planning 2020.
Speaking at the workshop, Dean of the university’s Postgraduate Faculty, Dr Vanphanome Sychareun, said families and local authorities needed to provide more information on sexual and reproductive health for young people, particularly relating to sexuality education, health services, and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.  
While more people now have access to better quality health services, many young people still find it difficult to get information about reproductive health services, which is one of the reasons for the high number of unwanted pregnancies, she said.
Laos has improved the availability and accessibility of contraceptives but young people still have trouble accessing this supply.
Lack of access to healthcare and information has a direct impact on women’s health in particular.
Although the situation has been improving, some vulnerable groups such as rural women in remote communities and adolescent girls still lack the reproductive rights that would allow them to gain control of their lives.
According to the Ministry of Health, for several years the government has recognised the link between reproductive health and the elimination of poverty and is working to improve poor and remote women’s access to family planning and reproductive health services.
In May 2017, the government held the first-ever National Family Planning conference under the theme “Investing in Family Planning for Economic Prosperity”, which highlighted the importance of family planning in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.


By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update August 21, 2019)


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