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Health-care seeking and utilization by adolescents for reproductive health problems in sub-Saharan Africa

Fatima H. Ahmed, The Alan Guttmacher Institute
Alister Munthali, University of Malawi
Christine Ouedraogo, Unité d' Enseignement et de Recherche en Démographie (UERD)
Vanessa Woog, The Alan Guttmacher Institute

In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, young people encounter significant obstacles to receiving sexual and reproductive health services and lack access to the services they need to protect themselves from HIV, other STIs and unwanted pregnancy. Using quantitative and qualitative data collected in 2003-2004 among 12-19 year olds in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda and Malawi, we examine: 1) the nature and extent of reproductive health services that adolescents seek and obtain for different kinds of reproductive health situations; and 2) adolescents’ perceptions of different types of reproductive health service providers, their preferences for specific providers for different problems and the reasons underlying these preferences. The paper addresses gaps in understanding adolescent health-care seeking behavior by providing information on adolescents’ perceptions and reasons for seeking or not seeking care, the sequence of steps taken and the barriers and supports adolescents face in trying to get help for reproductive health problems.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Poster Session 1