Sexual and Reproductive Health Research…

Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka(FPA Sri Lanka); the foremost non-governmental organization of Sri Lanka that deals with the issue relating to Family Planning, Sexual and Reproductive Health and welfare in the country, launched the book titled, “Sexual and Reproductive Health Research in Sri Lanka: Current Status, Challenges, and Directions (2010-2019)” at the FPA Sri Lanka Auditorium.

This is a milestone publication for FPA Sri Lanka, a prominent member of The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in the South Asia region as it has been a long-term institutional objective. It includes selected landmark abstracts presented and published by FPA Sri Lanka in national and international journals and conferences for the period 2010-2019. In addition, it also compiles several review articles by proficient authors with competence and experience in multifarious subject areas such as Sexual and Reproductive Health, Demography, Sociology, among others. The focus on data and evidence is particularly useful as it helps fill a void besides giving a much-needed fillip to evidence-based programming and service delivery.

Overall, the publication demonstrates that sexual and reproductive health requires an intersectional lens as it intertwines closely with gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality.

“FPA Sri Lanka as the premier non-governmental organization that focuses on working in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights considers management of strategic data, as one of its key duties. To this end, our Monitoring and Evaluation division constantly collects, collates and disseminates related data to inform in-country SRHR programmes from design to implementation stages. We take great pleasure in presenting this collection of research studies carried out by eminent professionals on multiple components within the spectrum of Sexual and Reproductive Health,” denoted Thushara Ranasinghe Agus, Executive Director, FPA, Sri Lanka

Professor Lakshman Dissanayake, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo attended the event as the keynote speaker, where he highlighted the current status, challenges and directions of Sexual and Reproductive Health research in Sri Lanka. “In the local context, these issues and discussions have always been considered as sensitive due to legal implications or susceptibility surrounding specifically in the areas of prevention of unsafe abortion, sexual and Reproductive Health, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Sexually Transmitted infections and HIV in Sri Lanka making the awareness around these issues remote for the general masses. This is why the role of FPA Sri Lanka becomes irrevocably intensive and important. Through a publication of this nature, masses are handed with qualitative and quantitative information on these pivotal subject matters” stated Prof. Dissanayake.

“For example, the Sri Lankan, the legislation allows the termination of pregnancy only to save the life of the mother. However, Medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) is hardly performed in contemporary Sri Lanka, which leads for many women to opt for induced prevention of unsafe abortions that take place in the country are technically illegal. Which paves a path for many other accompanying issues such as unsolicited use of the drugs, internal organ damage etc. Which essentially why an informed dialogue on these areas are important. This necessity is not limited to the prevention of unsafe abortion but also in the areas of Family Planning, Gender-based violence as well as in Sexually transmitted diseases. Where each is met up with a series of misconceptions, myths, and misjudgments.” he added.

The event was also attended by the Guest Speakers, Emeritus Professor Indralal De Silva, Director of Regional Centre for Strategical Studies, Dr. Lakshmen Senanayake, Former President of the Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Dr. Ajith Karawita, Consultant Venereologist; the guest speakers covered a range of themes including Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Health, Prevention of unsafe abortion, Contraception, Youth in Sri Lanka and Current status, Gaps and Future Directions of HIV/STI in Sri Lanka.

Key themes covered through the publication, include the Prevention of unsafe abortion, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Sexually Transmitted infections and HIV in Sri Lanka. Thereby, celebrating the 25th anniversary of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in this year and this publication would retrospect the important features of ICPD. Coincidentally, it enumerates as a profound analysis of the present status of Sexual and Reproductive health in Sri Lanka by contemplating its challenges and future directions.

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