Nepal Sexual and Reproductive Health Project

Team Leaders (2022): Agnes Ho & Suraya Bondy

Location: Dang District, Nepal

Number of positions: 2

Duration of commitment: 2 years

Project website:

The Nepal Sexual and Reproductive Health Project is a global health initiative with a focus on public health, advocacy and health education in rural communities in Nepal. This project aims to empower youth and improve the overall health of adolescents in rural Nepal by increasing awareness and knowledge surrounding sexual and reproductive health.

In 2015, the UBC Nepal Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) team formed a partnership with Creating Possibilities (CP) Nepal to expand SCD screening, diagnosis and treatment in the rural district of Dang, Nepal. CP Nepal is a non-profit Nepalese organization whose mission is to empower marginalized youth and women through education. In 2020, CP Nepal identified sexual and reproductive health of adolescents as a new area of focus. 

This project focuses primarily on education through the delivery of culturally sensitive and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education to youth in rural Nepal. Our team has connected with existing local organizations in Nepal with similar work in sexual and reproductive health advocacy and literacy to share resources, receive feedback, and ensure community needs are appropriately addressed. A needs assessment survey was created to determine specific areas of focus. This initial work guided our development of the Adolescent Health Program and serves as a basis for our current research. 


The primary focus of this project is to increase awareness and understanding of sexual and reproductive health topics among the indigenous Tharu communities through the development of an Adolescent Health Program. There are several social and cultural barriers that prevent many individuals from accessing sexual and reproductive health services. We have targeted these barriers by working closely with our partner organizations to develop culturally sensitive educational modules on sexual health topics including puberty, menstruation, family planning, and gender equality. The program includes nine educational sessions, which have been created based on existing sexual heath resources and needs assessment results. Our course content continues to be adapted as we receive ongoing feedback from students and educators. 

CP Nepal has trained three local community health educators to deliver our educational modules to their respective communities, ensuring that this work will be sustainable long-term. Currently, we have 470 adolescent girls (15 groups) participating in our sexual and reproductive health education program. The classes have been well-received by the local communities as well as by regional governments in Dang. As interest continues to grow, we anticipate further expansion of the program in the future. 


Our research to date has been largely to inform our own approach to this project, with the hope that ultimately we can use existing knowledge to create sustainable and effective comprehensive sexuality education for youth in rural regions of Nepal. We have conducted background research around the current educational programs, views on sex and sexuality, access and availability of health services, as well as sustainable approaches to knowledge dissemination, such as a training of trainers approach. In rural regions, specifically in Dang District where CP Nepal is based out of, limited resources restrict the number of educational opportunities available. This is common throughout the country, where rural and remote areas are often excluded from programs and learning opportunities that take place in larger cities.

With this in mind, our goal was to gain a better understanding of the baseline sexual health knowledge of youth in rural Nepal, as well as what topics they had a specific interest in. This was done through an informal needs assessment survey, structured around the domains of what, where and how sexual health knowledge was being shared; what, where and how youth would like to learn about sexual health; how menstrual health has been managed and taught; and a screen for prevalence of violence and sexual assault in these youth.

Going forward, we will be applying for ethics approval and performing a more formal survey assessment to be implemented before and after youth participation in our comprehensive sexual and reproductive health program. These will be qualitative interviews and surveys to determine the effectiveness of knowledge transfer through the program. These surveys will also inform how the sessions can be improved. 

We are in the process of submitting our work to global health conferences and are currently conducting a scoping review investigating the intersection of sexual and reproductive health knowledge with family planning in those with sickle cell disease. 


In 2021, our project received the Rural Global Health Partnership Initiative grant of $10,000 by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC. These funds were allocated towards supporting local Nepalese community health workers and CP Nepal staff, educational material development, and teaching supplies. 

In 2022, we received a generous donation of $25,000 from iA Financial Group. This funding has been directed towards training and supporting local community health workers as they continue these educational efforts, as well as supporting the optimization of the curriculum. 


Our team has met with several organizations across the globe that advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights in Nepal. There are many different initiatives in Nepal that are working to increase awareness of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, women’s rights, and gender equality. Ultimately, our goal is to work closely with existing Nepalese organizations to advocate for increased adolescent sexual and reproductive health services in rural Nepal. Similar to the UBC Nepal SCD team, we have met with local Nepalese doctors and government officials to lobby for improved access to resources and sexual health services in rural Dang, Nepal.

More details regarding our project as well as our most recent visit to Nepal can be found on our website and blog linked above.