Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) encompasses all matters related to puberty, sexuality, relationships, sexual health, fertility and birth.
It is a fundamental human right of all people to decide if, when and with whom to have sex, and if and when to have children - free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
Addressing SHRH is critical to improving the health of women and children - meeting the needs for effective contraception would avert 30 per cent of maternal deaths and 20 per cent of child deaths by supporting health timing and spacing of births and preventing unwanted pregnancy. Over a third of all women who die from pregnancy-related causes did not want to be pregnant in the first place.
It is also crucial to achieving sustainable, equitable development by allowing adolescent girls and women to complete education and participate in paid employment. It would also support poverty reduction and women’s empowerment.
- 225 million adolescent girls and women (1 in 4 in low and middle income countries) have an unmet need for contraception (i.e. don’t want to get pregnant but aren’t using an effective method of contraception)
- 80 million unintended pregnancies every year
- 22 million unsafe abortions resulting in 47,000 deaths each year and many thousands more who suffer serious complications and disability
- 1 in 3 women globally experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, mostly at the hand of an intimate partner
- 1 in 10 adolescent girls aged 15-19 years have experienced sexual violence
- About 200 million women are infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) every year - most do not receive adequate treatment. Adolescent girls and young women 15-24 years have the highest rates of STI of any age group.
Burnet Institute has a strong track record of using evidence-based approaches to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Research and Public Health Focus
- 2011 Vanuatu Integrated Bio-Behavioural Survey and population size estimation
A study to estimate the number of men who have sex with men and prevalence of STIs in Port Vila.
- A study to improve the health and rights of Myanmar men who have sex with men
This research evaluated the effectiveness of ‘Link Up’ services, in men who have sex with men.
- Assessing adolescent friendly health services in Nepal
Young people in Nepal have poor access to quality, non-discriminatory health services.
- Australian Awards Fellowship: Inclusivity and diversity in sport: Fiji and Tonga
The Fellowship promoted inclusivity and diversity in sport in Fiji and Tonga.
- Compass: Women's and Children's Health Knowledge Hub
To increase the effectiveness of aid for women’s and children’s health in Asia and the Pacific
- Friendly HIV services for young key populations in Bandung, Indonesia
A pilot project to increase testing and decrease new HIV infections in Bandung.
- HIV services for young key populations in the Philippines
The Philippines is considering changing laws that require adolescents to seek parental consent for HIV testing. This project will explore options and contribute to better understanding of how new laws might result in improved practices.
- Maternal Neonatal and Child Health support in Gangaw and Ngaphae townships in Magway Region – Myanmar
This project aims to increase availability and accessibility of essential services for maternal, newborn and child health through supporting Township Health Departments and community based interventions.
- Menstrual hygiene management in Indonesia: understanding practices, determinants and impacts among adolescent school girls
There is increasing recognition of the impact that menstrual hygiene management (MHM) practices can have on health, education and psychosocial outcomes for women and girls in developing countries.
- SMS for Health: An acceptability trial of SMS to deliver adolescent sexual and reproductive health and anti-smoking messages to young people in Indonesia
The trial is investigating whether communication technologies can be used to improve sexual and reproductive health knowledge and awareness, access and utilisation of services, and improve awareness of harms related to smoking, in Indonesia.
- Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health Capacity in Bali
This project is aimed at building capacity around Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and strengthening links between SRH and HIV prevention care and support
- Substance use and related harms among young people in the Solomon Islands
Quantitative and qualitative research into youth substance use in the Solomon Islands.
- Understanding the effects of programs to increase men’s engagement in maternal, newborn and child health
A multi-country study of how women and men in diverse settings experience efforts to increase male engagement in maternal, newborn and child health.