Assessing knowledge, exploring needs: a reproductive health survey of adolescents and young adults in Pakistan

Document Type



Community Health Sciences


RATIONALE & Objective: The sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescents have increased over the last few years, but are largely unmet. Lack of involvement of youth in the programs and limitations of the mass media in a conservative milieu are some of the issues. Our objectives were to assess the baseline SRH knowledge and to suggest interventions based on needs with regard to SRH promotion, so that the level of existing services could be upgraded.Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 20 villages of Lahore, in which 400 adolescents and young adults were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Respondents were equally divided in gender in all villages, using stratified random sampling.Results: Adolescents and young adults do have some knowledge of SRH issues. Males are relatively more knowledgeable than females about puberty (M = 68%; F = 58%), pregnancy (M = 55%; F = 43%), family planning (M = 62%; F = 50%) and sexually transmitted infections (M = 56%; F = 44%). Yet, a large majority needs clarification on their concepts and perceptions. They believe that having sound SRH knowledge will promote mother & child health and family health.CONCLUSION: Peers, media and a family doctor could be the acceptable source of information on SRH. Life skills programs to increase unmarried girls' cognitive skills and young men's involvement in such programs is a must. Involving families and communities will enhance the effectiveness of youth programs.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care