Accessibility and utilisation of reproductive health information among youths in Songwe and Chunya districts, Tanzania: a longitudinal study
Keywords:Family planning, Maternal health, Reproductive health information, ; Sexually transmitted diseases, Sexually transmitted diseases, Youths
Most youths in Songwe and Chunya Districts dropped out from school due to unplanned pregnancies, and some are infected by sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, it was assumed that, reproductive health information was not accessible to youths in the study area. Data for the study were collected twelve years from the previous study on the related title and topics. The aim was to study the trends on accessibility and utilisation of reproductive health information among youths in the study area. The specific objectives were to evaluate youths’ awareness on matters related to reproductive health, to identify sources frequently consulted and factors constraining access. The study employed a mixed method approach for data collection methods and analysis. Also, the study was underpinned by Wilson’s (1999) model of information behaviour. A total of 128 respondents participated in the study through questionnaire, interview and focus group discussion. Results show that most youths in the study had little awareness and access to reproductive health information available in different sources. The mostly preferred sources by youths were peers and friends followed by reading from published and unpublished sources. Furthermore, the mostly accessed information was preventive measures on sexually transmitted diseases. Hence, in conclusion, youths in the area had little awareness and access to reproductive health information, and rarely used the rarely accessed information. Therefore, for awareness creation on the matters and making sure
that youths use the accessed information, recommendations have been provided to youths, parents, teachers and government.