Communication of reproductive health information to the rural girl child in Filabusi, Zimbabwe
Background: Despite a number of programs aimed at the transfer of reproductive health information, adolescents in Zimbabwe still face unprecedented reproductive challenges.
Objectives: The study sought to explore adolescent girls’ knowledge of their sexual and reproductive health; the factors that influence their sexual behaviors and to determine the extent to which adolescents had access to sexual and reproductive health information.
Methods: The case study methodology was used for the study. The interpretive paradigm was used as the methodological theory and Grunig’s model of excellence in communication was used as the substantive theory. Data was obtained through the use of focus group discussions and indepth interviews.
Results: Although adolescents knew the different types of sexually transmitted diseases and were aware of the consequences of engaging in risky sexual behaviors, they engaged in health behaviors which had potential for serious consequences. The study established that adolescents did not have adequate access to sexual and reproductive health information. Sexual issues were not adequately addressed both at school and at home.
Conclusion: Adolescents lack adequate access to reproductive health information and there is need for effective communication programs that contribute towards the understanding of communicated messages by audiences and the understanding of audiences by communicators.
Keywords: Sexual and reproductive health, adolescents, communication
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