Youth Reproductive Health Problems and Service Preferences, Assebe Teferi West Hararghe

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Addis Abeba Universty


World wide, young women and men suffer a disproportionate share of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and other serious reproductive health problems. This cross-sectional community based descriptive study was conducted in West Harargie, Assebe Teferi, with the main objectives of assessing magnitude of risky reproductive health behaviors of youth, level of substance use, magnitude of factors that influence the preference and utilization of health services and examining youth attitude and willingness to VCT. Based on probability proportionate to the population size of each kebele and sub zones, lottery method was used to identify the study population. Out of targeted 844 youth aged 15-24, 774 responded to the structured questionnaire, out of which 375 (48.4%) were male, with male to female ratio of 1:1.06. Among the study participants, 490 (63.3%) belong to age 15-19, and 106 (13.7%) were married. Sixty seven percent of them married before reaching to age 18, with mean age 17.2 + 2.4 years. It was also identified that 9% of the marital lock were by abduction. Out of the total respondents, 35.6% were sexually active, comprising 34.53% married and 65.47% unmarried. Eight point one percent of the sexually active group had reported that during their first sexual intercourse they were being victims of rape. In addition to this, hundred forty two (70.65%) of unmarried sexually active group had unsafe sex at their first intercourse, (not used condom). Consequently, 13 (4.2%) and 32 (10.4%) of them encountered STDS and Unwanted Pregnancy at their first sexual exposure, respectively. Ever use of Modern Contraceptive was found to be 25.7% among the sexually active group, while condom utilization at the last intercourse was 63.2% among unmarried. Because of unsafe sexual practice, 29 (9.41%) of the sexually active had history of STDs in the last one year prior to this study, out of which 2.3% of the cases were among married. It was also reported that 102 (33.2%) of the sexually active youths encountered unwanted pregnancy in vii their life time sexual relations with partners, out of which 30.4% of the cases were ended with abortion. The magnitude of substance use among the youth was assessed and it revealed that 420 (54.3%) of the respondents had exposure to the substance use and thirty eight percent of them reported that their sexual desire rises following substance use. In the assessment of utilization and preference of the health institution, thirty six point seven percent of the respondents preferred to be served in FGAE clinic. On the other hand, 18.7% of the study group claimed that the existing HI was not welcoming when needing a service, the reasons were, 73.4% and 58.3% of them complained prolonged waiting for the service and service inconsistency, respectively. Because of these, youth friendly health service was suggested to be available and 316 (41%) of the youth indicated the need to rearrange in the existing health institution having its own unit, and thirty six point seven percent of the them preferred to be served by young and of the same sex. This study also revealed that 88.5% of the respondents have VCT information and 92.2% of them reported that they need to have VCT. Logistic regression analysis indicated that, female were more vulnerable to risk reproductive behaviors as compared to their male counterpart. On the other hand, the older group was found to have more risky reproductive behavior as compared to the younger one. It was also observed that married group had risky reproductive behaviors as compared to non married. Similarly, those who used the substance and those who had pocket money were also indicated to have an association with risky reproductive behaviors. From this study it was concluded that youth in the study area were exercising high risky reproductive behaviors that exposed them to various RH problems, and Youth focused health services were not well organized thus needs the collaboration among different sectors and the community to facilitate youth friendly health services to promote youth health.