HEARD’s research partner in Madagascar, Mina Rakotoarindrasata and Jean de Dieu Randrianasolorivo, held a meeting in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, to present the findings of a joint study on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people aged 15-24 in Madagascar. Ms Rakotoarindrasata shared the results with stakeholders which included the Ministries of Health, Youth, Population, Social protection and Gender Promotion, the National Council for the Fight against HIV and AIDS, civil society organisations as well as the University community.

The COVID-19 health crisis meant that the researchers had been unable to share the results of the study during 2020. The researchers chose the capital city for holding the meeting, as this is where the Ministries and key civil society organisations are based. Adhering to stringent COVID-19 health precautions, the team reported that more than 50 people attended the restitution in person. The discussions following the presentation were highly engaging, said Ms Rakotoarindrasata. The research findings highlighted that transactional sex was a widespread phenomenon in Madagascar. On reflection of the findings and the shared vulnerabilities, one participant questioned the value of SRH interventions continuing to differentiate between young people who sell sex versus those engaged in transactional sex. The researchers recommended comprehensive sexuality education programmes at schools to address the lack of knowledge and misconceptions around sexuality and reproduction in the country. An NGO working to develop a comprehensive sexuality education programme in Malagasy schools was present at the meeting and undertook to take up the study findings as part of their recommendations to the Ministry of National Education in Madagascar. The SRHR Madagascar network, an organisation that brings together different civil society organisations in Madagascar, is currently developing a communication medium that will take into account the results of the study and disseminate it to the general public. To read more about the study findings, please click here