Adolescents and youth constitute nearly one third of the total population of Nepal. Unfortunately at the critical stage of physical and mental changes, this significant portion of the nation’s population face dearth of quality education, equitable opportunities, and access to effective health care, confidential counseling and information services.
Printing and electronic media has significant role for educating young people to preserve and to promote their health status, especially least developed countries like Nepal where physical infrastructure to make quality health services and reliable information accessible to every corner of the country has not developed properly. Mass media, although it cannot replace the role of clinical services, is an important means of delivering information regarding behavioral change, confidence development, self management, counseling, awareness and advocacy not only for the youth and adolescences but also family, society and health practitioners and other stakeholders.
Sunaulo Parivar Nepal, implementing partner of Marie Stopes International Nepal has been supporting an interactive youth program entitled “Khulduli.com” in National Radio Station Radio Audio Pvt. Ltd. from September 2014 till date.
Khulduli.com is currently broadcast at 10 pm- 11 pm every night via 75 different local FM stations of the country including along with Radio Audio in Kathmandu valley. The programs highlights the major concerns of youth and adolescence; they have limited knowledge & information about sexuality and reproductive health, family planning, safe abortion, a great confusion at the time of making decision about higher education, career development and love, attraction and desires. The issues like generation gap, reproductive and mental health problems like management of sexual desires, misconception about masturbation, physical and mental change by age, opposite sex attraction, love affairs, sexually transmitted diseases, cultural and social pressure etc are the common queries sent by the majority of listeners. In a study of SMS texts that the program receives every day (age range of senders: 16- 35) of last six months period, nearly 30% were with seeking counseling regarding personal affairs, career, spirituality, further education and other, 30% were about general health and remaining 40% were about sexual and reproductive health.
Youth friendly health service centers and counseling can solve majority of youth problems regarding sexual and reproductive health, including public awareness programs campaigning various means of Media, and for that strong advocacy by the experts of different but relevant disciplines with the participation of youth is an urgent need for the youth and adolescents of Nepal.
Khulduli.com is 45 minutes radio program which deals with Sexual and Reproductive Health of young people.
The program has a thematic slogan “Sukhi ra Surakshit yuba” (Happy and Safe Young people). The team has developed this thematic idea in order to make Adolescent and Young people’s life healthier and safer. It is because, a healthy young person of today is healthy guardian for tomorrow. Therefore, Khulduli.com, from the very first day of production and airing, the program has been using two way communication process.