Returns on investment in adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health in Rajasthan

Adolescents (10–19 years) constitute almost one-fourth of the total population of Rajasthan, India. In matters concerning sexual and reproductive health (SRH), adolescents are particularly vulnerable; important issues include, early and unintended pregnancy, unprotected sex leading to abortions and sexually transmitted infections, inadequate nutritional status and unsafe menstrual hygiene practices. Despite specific interventions for adolescents, issues related to their health remain a concern and therefore, strategizing ways to strengthen sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents is a policy priority is imperative.

This study examines the economic and health benefits that could accrue from increased investment in adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health-specific interventions in Rajasthan. The study also explores the potential for scaling up these services, which include access to contraceptives; comprehensive abortion care; weekly iron and folic acid supplementation; and menstrual hygiene schemes across the state.