Time extension of adolescent-friendly service centers is underway in Bangladesh

On April 6th, SERAC-Bangladesh organized a ‘Prize Giving Ceremony of OP-ED Writing Campaign by Youth and Youth Journalist’. This online event was chaired by Md. Abdus Salam Khan,Joint Secretary (Planning), Medical Education & Family Welfare Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while Dr. Mohammed Sharif, Director (MCH-Services) & Line Director (MC-RAH), MCH-Services Unit, Directorate General of Family Planning appeared as the Chief Guest. The competition was judged by Md. Moyeen Uddin, News Editor, The Daily Sabuj, Babli Akanda, Convener & Sub Editor, Nari Sangbadik Songgho and The Daily Azker Bangladesh, and Jahir Rayhan, Staff Correspondent, The Business Standard. Young people across the country have participated in an article writing competition with their own expectations, experiences or recommendations for adolescent-friendly service centers, where their articles have been published in national, local and online magazines. The event was organized to raise demand for improving services of adolescent friendly health corners in Bangladesh.

The Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh S M Shaikat made the welcome address and expressed his deep sympathy to the COVID-19 affected persons and wished them speedy recovery. Nusrat Sharmin Resma, Program Officer, SERAC-Bangladesh, presented a brief overview of the background of this competition, opportunities and needs for AFHCs Upgradation and primary data on a survey conducted by SERAC-Bangladesh about adolescent-friendly service centers.

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Then the winners’ names were announced and they shared their points during the meeting. The top 3 winners of the competition are, Md. Nayeem Hossain Khan from Barishal, Khandakar Nayma Akter Noon from Cumilla, and Arshi Irtiza from Chattogram. The other winners are, Maria Akter- Khulna, Mahamudul Hasan Shishir- Rajshahi, Fahima Akter Rimi- Mymensingh, Apurba Krishna Roy- Rangpur, Md. Abu Huraira- Dhaka, Md.Fuad Hasan- Kushtia, Jannatul Bakia Jeni- Dhaka.

The Chief Guest of the ceremony Dr. Sharif appreciated the initiative of SERAC-Bangladesh. He said, “I am very much benefited by the information and data of the survey on adolescent-friendly service centers. After the publication of the detailed report, we hope to start working on the long-standing demands of the youth.”

Md. Abdus Salam Khan, the Chair of the program addressed the youth as the changemaker of the society. He added, “If the youth present their demands in this way through various interesting activities, then it is also possible for us to implement it. Therefore, I would request SERAC-Bangladesh to conduct such more exceptional and time demanding activities.” He also promised to take steps to extend the duration of the adolescent-friendly service center. To note- 1103 adolescent-friendly service centers are being run across the country under the Directorate General of Family Planning.

In his closing remarks, S M Shaikat, Executive Director, SERAC-Bangladesh, said, “Today’s event is not only about youth who are present here, but also the demands of the youth of Bangladesh.” He also expressed his gratitude to the Chief Guest and the Chair for expressing commitment and optimism at different times in the development of the youth-friendly service center. At the same time, he thanked the judge’s panel for their sincere cooperation.

Shahina Yasmin, Program Director, SERAC-Bangladesh, Tasnia Ahmed, Senior Program Officer, Nahidur Rahman, Associate Program Officer and more than half a hundred young people over the country were present among others.

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