Sexual and reproductive health services use, perceptions, and barriers among young people in southwest Oromia, Ethiopia
Background: Utilizations of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services among young people is vital in reducing sexual and reproductive health problems. This study investigated young people’s perceptions and barriers towards the use of sexual and reproductive health services in Southwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross sectional study was employed to collect data from 1,262 in-school youths. Simple random sampling technique was used to select schools and study participants. Fifteen focus group discussions and 22 key informant interviews were conducted. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted . P value ≤ 0.05 was set to determine statistical significance. Data were analyzed using SPSS v16. Qualitative data were triangulated with quantitative findings and also presented in themes.
Results: Four hundred sixty (36.5%) of the respondents had utilized sexual and reproductive health services. Advice on sexual and reproductive health was the major (67.2%) service sought followed by seeking-treatments (23.3%). Health centers were the major (65.0%) source of SRH services. Being married, being sexually active, father-child communication, religion and place of residence were significantly associated with use of sexual and reproductive health services (p<0.05). Lack of information about SRH, poor perceptions about SRH, feeling of shame, fear of being seen by others, restrictive cultural norms, lack of privacy, confidentiality and unavailability of services were deterring use of sexual and reproductive health services.
Conclusions: Only a small proportion of young people used sexual and reproductive health services. Hence, in addition to behavioral modification interventions, it is essential to consider multi-level and culturally sensitive interventions in a holistic approach.
Keywords: Young People, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Youth Perceptions, Service Use, Ethiopia