The forgotten girls: pregnant adolescents in Asia Pacific

Synopsis: Dr Farnaz Sabet and Ms Suchitra Rath spoke about the state of evidence for adolescent maternal health care in the Asia Pacific region, and some of the reasons why pregnant girls have been excluded from the research and policy space. This session highlighted how easy it is for pregnant and parenting adolescents to be framed as adults, and thus lose support for their ongoing development. Both speakers spoke about Participatory learning and action women’s groups which aim to mobilise the community for maternal and child health. Speakers also explored how pregnant adolescents engage with such groups.

Speakers: Dr Farnaz Sabet and Ms Suchitra Rath

Dr Farnaz Sabet is a General Practitioner with global health experience. This has included clinical work in various settings (rural, remote, humanitarian), as well as public health and policy work for WHO, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Cape York Institute and UNHCR. She received her medical degree from Monash University (awarded final year medal), has a Masters in Global Health Science from Oxford University (under a Rhodes scholarship) and has just finished her PhD at the Centre for Adolescent Health at MCRI/University of Melbourne on Adolescent Maternal Care.

Ms Suchitra Rath is a social development professional, has been working for Ekjut (Porkha, India) on the implementation of the Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) process for the last 18 years. Her core competency is in designing and developing PLA modules used for various community-based interventions for improving women’s and children’s health and her main research interests are maternal and adolescent health and nutrition.

Questions this event will address

  • What do we know about interventions for pregnant adolescents in the Asia Pacific?
  • Why have these girls been forgotten from the research and policy space?
  • What constitutes high quality care for pregnant adolescents?
  • Why is it important to provide high quality care for pregnant adolescents?
  • How can we use evidence to highlight and advocate for neglected adolescents?

Date: 2 May 2024

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm AEST

Event recording

Advancing Adolescent Health in the Asia Pacific: A virtual community to share knowledge and support collaboration

Despite one in two of the world’s adolescents living in the Asia-Pacific region, adolescent health is a relatively new field of endeavour in Australia as well as the region. It is a field that spans policy makers from multiple sectors, researchers from different disciplines, and practitioners working in health services, schools and communities and encompasses a multitude of health topics and concerns. Despite this, there are few opportunities to come together to share, showcase and build capacity to improve adolescent health and wellbeing in the region.

This seminar series aims to provide opportunities for researchers, policy makers, practitioners, implementers, young advocates – indeed, anyone interested in the health and wellbeing of adolescents – to enhance their understanding of adolescent health and wellbeing, with a focus on research.

This series is supported by the Centre of Research Excellence for Driving Global Investment in Adolescent HealthLed by a team at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, it brings together leading Australian research groups including the University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, University of South Australia, and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

Read more about the series here

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