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COVID-19 Challenges and Opportunities for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Outreach and Access

Dr. Madhurima Bhadra is a Senior Public Health and Gender practitioner. Her experiences have been in teaching, training, program management, and program evaluation. She feels passionately about issues of gender equality, sexual reproductive health and rights, mental health, menstrual health and hygiene. She believes in the power of media, and theater for advocacy and empowerment of women, gender and sexual minorities. Most recently, she has directed and produced The Vagina Monologues in Nepal and is working on empowerment of young women by facilitating workshops on sexuality, consent and pleasure. She completed her dental degree in India, and an MPH in International Health from Oregon State University. 

The CVOID-19 Pandemic has brought both challenges and opportunities for Sexual and Reproductive Health education and outreach. There are challenges to access to confidential and affordable health care services and information, lack of essential drugs and equipment, and psychosocial support. As millions of Nepalese laborers return home the increased demand for family planning devices are likely to be unmet. Due to school closures, young people are unable to receive comprehensive education on sexuality and reproductive health. Lack of internet connectivity also further disproportionately affects rural populations and those of lower socioeconomic status, thus creating widening of digital gender gap. Gaps in effective communication on the provision of safe abortion services have increased illegal procurement of drugs.   

Violence against women and girls has escalated because of the Covid crisis and the constraint to often live with perpetrators. As families are quarantined together, lack of privacy and confidentiality have affected adolescent and young adults access to sexual and reproductive health care. Sexual harassment at isolation and quarantine sites are also a problem. Lack of support for menstrual products at quarantine centers is an issue as well as services for women and girls with disabilities.  

Recommendations for sexual and reproductive health services to be deemed essential health services, establishment of communication channels regarding availability of sexual and reproductive health services using youth friendly social media platforms, radio broadcasts and PSAs. Ensure continuity of learning with respect to comprehensive sexuality education via digital mediums, web courses, podcasts, digital workshops and radio broadcasts. Recognize vulnerabilities and strategize interventions directed towards marginalized and vulnerable groups. 

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Meeting ID: 954 7557 1922 

Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 5:30pm to 6:30pm

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Lecture or Presentation

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Health and Well-being, Research


Community Members, Faculty and Staff, Student, Alumni, Online




College of Health
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Chunhuei Chi

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