TARUNYA Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH)
In Jharkhand today, 63% of adolescent girls are married before they reach 18, and at least one in four 15- to 19-year-olds is a mother. And without access to reproductive health services, few girls—or their husbands and families—understand the risks of early pregnancy and anemia or even have access to family planning.
EngenderHealth is working to change this reality for adolescents in India. Through the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (TARUNYA-ARSH) Project, EngenderHealth has partnered with the governments of Jharkhand and Bihar states to improve young people’s access to and use of quality and sustainable reproductive and sexual health services. The project has three components:
- Improving the availability and quality of health services for young people in India by increasing health care professionals’ awareness about the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents;
- Educating young people about their sexual and reproductive health and the availability of youth-friendly services; and
- Advocating for supportive policies to ensure a safe, comfortable, and responsive environment for adolescents to access health services.
Over eight years, The TARUNYA-ARSH project has achieved important, long-lasting change for adolescents in India. Our advocacy efforts and technical assistance have contributed to strong government support and funding for ARSH services in both Jharkhand and Bihar states. Specifically, the project helped the governments establish an Adolescent Technical Advocacy Sub-Group, allocate more resources to ARSH, and adopt monitoring and supervision tools developed by the project. TARUNYA-ARSH has also advocated for and supported Adolescent Health Day (AHD), a state initiative to increase ARSH service uptake. In a third-party evaluation of the project conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), state, district, and local health managers highlighted the useful contribution that the project has made to date in moving the ARSH agenda forward..