Press Release

Launch of the National Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services Guideline, ensuring that health care providers address the needs of adolescent and youth

26 February 2018

Vientiane Capital, February 26, 2018 – Reproductive and sexual health information and services will become more available for young people. Health service providers will be trained to make services equitable, accessible, acceptable, appropriate and effective, so that adolescents and young people have the information they need to make responsible decisions and access health services.

The National Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (NAYFS) Guideline is adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO) guide on Adolescent Health for Health Care Providers. Now the guideline is developed for the Lao context by the Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other development partners.

(Front left) Ms. Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Laos Representative and next to her is Minister of Health, Dr. Bounkong Syhavong holding NAYFS Guideline Book

Today, the launch of the NAYFS guideline took place at the Annual Review Meeting on Reproductive Health Programme (SO1) organized by MoH and supported by UNFPA

 “We have seen from the reviews of maternal deaths that from 2011 to 2013, 7% of maternal deaths were girls aged 14-18, and in the recent report (2014-2016)1 in the same age group it has risen to almost 10%. This tells us that we need to focus on young people, to help them plan their pregnancies, delaying them till maturity of their bodies  so that they  pass the high risk period, associated with young age, before starting a family” said  the Minister of Health, Associate Professor Dr. Bounkong Syhavong.

In Lao PDR, more than half (53%) of the population is under 25 years of age2, there are 700,230 adolescent girls aged 10-19 years. Currently 1 in 4 adolescent girls aged 15-19  are married, in contrast with adolescent boys - 1 in 11 adolescent boys are married3. The adolescent birth rate is one of the highest in the region and was reported to 75.6 births per 1000 adolescent girls (15-19 years)2.  Only 2 in 5 adolescent girls delivered with skilled birth attendants and 1 in 6 maternal deaths occurs among adolescent girls aged 15-19. In fact, 2 girls die in Laos every week of pregnancy related matters.

The National Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (NAYFS) guideline is a training guide for health care providers, including midwives, nurses, clinical officers and doctors in all health facilities.  The aim of the training is to strengthen the capacity of service providers to respond to specific needs of adolescents more effectively and with greater sensitivity. It will ensure the integration of adolescent and youth friendly services in health centers and hospitals as well as helping providers to overcome barriers when providing services and information to young people.

 “Quality and friendly health services in the country are often limited. Adolescents and young people feel shy to speak up about their reproductive health and sexual matters, so we need to create safe and supportive environment for them. This guideline is another product in the Noi campaign; which wants all adolescent girls to be informed and get the skills so they can plan their future appropriately” said UNFPA’s Representative, Ms. Frederika Meijer.

Recently, the training of trainers was conducted for teachers in nine schools. In 2018, MoH with support from UNFPA will roll out the in-service training through health schools and institutions in target provinces and across the country later on.


  1. Maternal Deaths Review
  2. Population and Housing Census 2015:
  3. The Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS) 2011-2012:


Contact for more information


Ms. Olaphim Phoutthavong, Deputy head of Nursing - Midwifery Division

Tel: +856 21 214011

Fax: +856 21 214011



Ms Kay Amphone Singhalath – Communication Associate

Tel: +856 21 267 680                              

Fax: +856 21 267 799