Integrated Multi-Sectoral Approach (IMSA) To Improve The Sexual And Reproductive Health Of Adolescents In Magway, Myanmar

Myanmar has a large adolescent population.

This IMSA project works closely with national and sub-national partners in Myanmar, and with beneficiaries, to create and embed a best practice model to improve sexual and reproductive health and education for young people aged between 10 and 19 years across the education, health and community sectors in the Magway Region.

The project responds to the need to increase and improve the health of young people, something that was articulated in the 2016 to 2020 National Strategic Plan for Young People’s Health. 2014 census figures indicate that 28 per cent of Myanmar’s population is under 25.

The project brings government, Monastic school teachers and principals, parents and community leaders, and Monastic school students together to identify, trial and evaluate an integrated model which addresses several dimensions of sustainable change for adolescent health and wellbeing.

A formative survey conducted in year one provided baseline estimates for the key intervention targets. A final project design that reflects the nationally identified approaches and principles was prepared in year three. It sets out the development outcomes that the project aims to contribute to, namely:

  • Increased access to improved sexual and reproductive health education and information for young people in Monastic schools
  • Improved leadership and support, from communities and families, for young people’s access to quality health services that participate in community forums to identify challenges and barriers to youth health
  • Increased number of accessible and quality services for adolescents for sexual and reproductive health, and for mental health and wellbeing

The output activities for outcome one and outcome three started in year three. Outcome two activities commence in year four.

Year four (2019-2020) activities include continuing support for teachers to help them deliver sexual and reproductive health information to students.

The IMSA model was expanded to include another high burden health topic for young people in Myanmar - mental health and wellbeing.

The project prepares for formative work which includes reviewing and identifying mental health needs in Myanmar, and organising an advisory group to provide policy and technical support to Burnet Institute.

Another expansion component was cervical cancer prevention and young peoples’ health in Myanmar.

An end line survey will be conducted in year five to compare to the baseline survey, and to study the effectiveness of the pilot project.

Since 2016, IMSA is being delivered in eight Monastic schools across three townships in the Magwey Region over five years.

Key National Partners

  • The Ministry of Health and Sports, which is fully engaged with the project

  • The Ministry of Education, which is also a key counterpart and is fully engaged to ensure alignment with the current curriculum

Key Results

  • Coordinated and collaborated with the Ministry of Education

  • A functioning project advisory committee, which provides supervision and shares updated information and communication

  • Collaborated with eight Monastic schools in the Magwey region

  • Improved teacher competency in delivering the Life Skills Education curriculum

  • Township and regional health departments mobilised school health teams to participate in capacity building activities for improved quality services and engagement with the Monastic schools

  • Rural and urban health centres with private and confidential clinical and counselling spaces

  • Student populations actively contributing to the design of activities

  • Improved access to gender appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services.

  • Concepts like gender-based violence, child rights and menstrual hygiene management introduced to supplement the current Life Skills curriculum

  • Adolescent and youth health research priorities developed and distributed in Myanmar


  • Year one: July 2016 to June 2017
  • Year two: July 2017 to June 2018
  • Year three: July 2018 to June 2019
  • Year four: July 2019 to June 2020
  • Year five: July 2020 to June 2021


  • Director, School Health Division, Ministry of Health and Sport
  • Deputy Director, School Health Division, Ministry of Health and Sport
  • Deputy Director, Department of Educational Research Planning and Training, Ministry of Education
  • Regional Monastic Supervisory Committee, Magway region


  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Elissa Kennedy

Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health; Co-Head Global Adolescent Health