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AIDS Care. 2004 Apr;16(3):339-47.

The sexual and reproductive health of young people in Adjumani district, Uganda: qualitative study of the role of formal, informal and traditional health providers.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


This qualitative study of young people and health care workers in Adjumani, northern Uganda, found that young people are generally very knowledgeable about STD spread and prevention as well as methods for prevention of pregnancy. Health workers are the most important category of people providing information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) for young people. However, many health workers are conservative with regard to adolescent sexuality. There is a lack of training in and guidelines for working with adolescents. This, along with inadequate access to SRH services for young people, accounts for the failure to adequately deal with young people's problems. Physical, social, psychological and economic factors create barriers to service accessibility. Socio-economic, religious and cultural factors affect sexual behaviour and outcomes in Adjumani district, making some young people vulnerable, particularly young women. In an effort to find alternative services that meet their needs better, young people visit informal and traditional health care providers despite having to pay for these services. The confidentiality and privacy that they offer could be a lesson for formal health care providers. Further training and integration of traditional health care providers is essential as they already play a major part in SRH service delivery to young people.

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