Knowledge and awareness factors influence utilization in that educated youths

Knowledge and awareness factors influence utilization

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Knowledge and awareness factors influence utilization in that educated youths are presumed to have skills and are more knowledgeable on sexual and reproductive health and related risks and therefore tend to be more responsible for behaviours and actions that have an impact on their health. 2.6 Attitude related factors influencing utilization of reproductive health services among the youth. Adolescent SRH remains a public health issue; therefore, it is important to note that adolescent sexuality is a reality and health care providers should accept it. Results show that stigma and discrimination of adolescent SRH remains a hindrance for adolescents to access RHS. The negative attitude of health care providers when attending to adolescent’s RH needs has also adversely affected the adolescents’ access to SRHS. Hence, there is a need to train health care providers to provide integrated youth-friendly SRHS. The health care providers should be friendly, non-judgmental and welcoming. Thus the staff should be specially trained to meet the RH needs of the youth. In addition, the units for providing services should be set apart so that privacy is maintained. Schools and clinics should provide information, education and counselling to adolescents regarding growth and development and maturation. As such, adolescents will be knowledgeable about sexual health and hence make in-formed choices. In the communities, it is essential to promote awareness on the importance of early access to SRHS through appropriate community forums. This would help to destigmatize adolescent sexuality. Behaviour change interventions, such as abstinence and condom use should be emphasized. The interventions can then assist in pre-venting the youths from contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV and AIDS thus leading to a healthy generation A study in Ethiopia on health workers‟ attitude toward sexual and reproductive health services for unmarried youth concluded that some health workers were setting up penal rules and regulations against premarital sex (Tilahun et al., 2010). A study by Warenius et al. (2006) among Kenyan and Zambian midwives revealed that reproductive health services are underutilized due to judgmental attitude of health providers and lack of competence coupled with lack of knowledge in youth-friendly service provision irrespective of training. Previous research on healthcare workers' perceptions of adolescents seeking SRH services also reported similar findings regarding promiscuity, and the subsequent negative attitude of healthcare workers towards adolescents accessing SRH services [Chilinda et al., 2014; Sidze et al., 2014;Tilahun et al., 2012; Mngadi et al., 2008; Warenius et al., 2006;Wood et al., 2006]. Furthermore, the poor access to and non-utilization of SRH services by adolescents has been
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attributed to negative attitudes of healthcare workers towards adolescents seeking SRH services and the way they communicate with adolescents by scolding and use of a harsh tone [Chilinda et al., 2014;Tilahun et al., 2012;Wood et al., 2006].
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