Publication Date

5-2009

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala

Abstract

This research is about the sexual and reproductive health practices of young women and men in the age group of 18 -24 years in Nambale sub-county in Iganga district, Uganda. In this research I sought to understand the relevancy and responsiveness of current ASRH programs given the high rates of unsafe abortion, unwanted pregnancy, STI and HIV infection and poor maternal health practices observed by the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey -UDHS (2006) and reports by the Uganda National Adolescent Health Policy (2004). Most prior research related to this topic focuses on the adult population perceptions about young people’s service seeking practices. This focus undermines the participation of young people in matters that concern them and their preference. This inquiry therefore focused on the perspective of the young population of 18-24 years old, examining their ASRH service seeking practices, preference and media habits in order to explain reasons for low utilization of services from the perspective of young people and possible improvements in light of the client-provider oriented efficiency approach to “unique” public health services like ASRH. Learning their perceptions and attitudes about current service delivery arrangements and what they perceive as the most effective approach to improving accessibility and utilization of ASRH services to improve their health wellbeing. This research answers the question as to why utilization of ASRH is low and how ASRH programs could be packaged to benefit and to increase young people’ satisfaction if their priorities or thoughts were to be aligned with standard goals of quality assurance in ASRH. ASRH services as used in this research are those reproductive health services that are being used by young people from 10-24 years.

Using the case study approach, I employed the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) techniques using the Participatory Rapid Appraisal methodology (PRA) for data collection and analysis. This approach allowed for shared learning between local community and myself to assess and analyze situations together to arrive at appropriate conclusions.

Findings of this research imply that the process which should be used in developing appropriate communication and advocacy strategies should not be limited to NGO managers or district health officials of participating organizations but should engage local service providers, local media, local artists, representatives of parents, teachers, advocates of young people’s rights and young people themselves in order to get a well balanced content and process.

Disciplines

Public Health

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