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Shedding Light on Lebanese Army Soldiers’ Sexual and Reproductive Health





On August 9, in celebration of World Population Day and of National Army Day, UNFPA Lebanon launched two studies on SRH among Lebanese Army soldiers. The event held in the Central Military Academy and attended by high level officials from the military, government, academia, medical associations, UN, embassies and NGOs gained wide media coverage. 

The 2 studies are the result of collaboration between UNFPA and Lebanon Family Planning Association through a project aiming at a) ensuring provision of quality RH care services in the health clinics affiliated to the Army Medical Directorate and b) raising awareness among Lebanese soldiers, officers and their respective families on SRH/HIV/AIDS/FP and gender issues. The studies were conducted with the technical support of the Lebanese Health Association.

The first study consisted of a “Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practices of Lebanese Army soldiers regarding RH, STI/HIV/AIDS” and covered a representative sample of the Lebanese Army brigades deployed throughout the country. The second study, “Assessment of Women’s Satisfaction with RH Services in Health Facilities of The Lebanese Army” was conducted at selected Lebanese Army health centres providing RH services to army personnel and their families and aimed at assessing the quality of services such as contraceptive methods, pre- and post-natal care, health awareness, RTI/STI/HIV/AIDS prevention, in addition to assessing the condition of the health facility and its personnel. 

By raising a number of relevant and important issues and by formulating a series of recommendations, these studies provide the necessary baseline information on various RH aspects within the Army institution, a matter the UNFPA CO and its partners shall pursue by advocating for the incorporation of SRH/HIV/AIDS education in the formal army curricula. 

“Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practices of Lebanese Army soldiers regarding RH, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS”– Main Results

  • 71.5% of respondents did not perceive themselves as being at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS
  • More than 90% of the respondents made the link between transmission of HIV/AIDS sexual relations
  • 13.7% believed transmission of the virus was possible through the sharing of dishes and utensils, 13.6% mentioned polluted or contaminated water and 33.9% the use of public toilets.
  • Most participants could mention at least three methods of prevention, 86.4% for condom use, 54.6% for loyalty to one partner; and 59.1% for the use of sterile syringes
  • Only 59.9% were aware there was no cure for HIV/AIDS
  • 78.8% of the respondents knew that persons living with HIV/AIDS can look healthy
  • 92.1% knew about the condom and its use, but two thirds did not use condoms during sexual encounters.
  • Only 8.5% of the sample population had actually undergone HIV testing
  • 83.9% indicated they would seek counselling if they suspected having AIDS

“Assessment of Women’s Satisfaction With RH Services In Health Facilities Of The Lebanese Army” - Main Results

  • 82.3% had been availing themselves of the RH services provided
  • 85.3% of respondents were familiar with contraceptive pill and 77.5% with IUD; while just 8.1% had no knowledge of contraceptive methods.
  • Just over half of the respondents indicating familiarity with male condoms.
  • 47.7% reported having had one or more unwanted pregnancy; 60.8% of unwanted pregnancies ended in abortion,
  • Nearly all the respondents who were pregnant at the time of the study were making multiple visits to their doctor. 85% took iron and vitamin supplements.
  • Post-natal care regarded as less important: As many as 25.1% of the women had not had a post-natal check-up.

Click here to access studies