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Introduction: Regardless of being involved in early sexual activity, significant number of South Asian adolescents gets restricted in making informed decisions on sexual and reproductive practices due to diverse seclusion norms. Since adolescents have been identified as the earliest users of new technologies like mobile phones, computers and the Internet, these tools can be harnessed to deliver sexuality education to overcome the trajectory of engaging in risky sexual behavior. Regardless of numerous efforts, Information and communication technology (ICTs) in response to the health concerns still a challenge.
Aim: A systematic review was conducted to ascertain and describe the scenario and ICT use opportunities in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health program information.
Methodology: Peer-reviewed published studies, government and non-government documents, and survey reports between 1990 and 2013 on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the selected South Asian countries were systematically reviewed right from their formation till latest amendment. Eligibility criteria were literature published in English, targeting male and female adolescents, aged 10-19 years irrespective of their marital status.
Results: In depth review of 86 publicly available documents comprising policy papers and guidelines of selected countries along with journal articles, survey reports found 27 documents matching our selection criteria. All such documents were assessed and relevant information was extracted by research team. In contrast to the general population, data on adolescent access to and use of ICT in practicing sexual and reproductive health services are minimal, and criteria and definitions that would aid data analysis and comparison across countries are lacking.
Conclusion: ICT platforms should be applied to scale-up policies and programmes that promote the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents due to their low cost, increased access to remote populations, better efficiency and improved flexibility for programming.
Adolescent sexual and reproductive health, Information and communication technology, South Asia