Understanding young people's
challenges in accessing
Sexual health services
Restless Development has just concluded a piece of youth-led research, funded by our DFID, looking at the factors which prevent young people from accessing sexual and reproductive health services in Sierra Leone. The research was carried out in 20 rural communities and was led by 19 young people trained by Restless Development. Over 700 young people were surveyed.
|Researchers presenting finding to stakeholders in Freetown
The provisional findings from the research were shared with stakeholders at a validation workshop in Freetown on May 9. The workshop was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, UNFPA, Marie Stopes, Population Media Center, Health for All Coalition and other youth-focused organizations. Two of the young researchers, Mohamed Buanie and Salamatu Conteh presented the findings. This was followed by a question and answer session during which stakeholders put their queries to the research team.
Some of the key research findings include:
- Young people are shy to access health centers for family planning methods because of fear of stigmatization by community members or poor treatment by health workers.
- There is little or no level of parental engagement with young people on sexual issues.
- There is an increased number of young people dropping out of school due to high rate of sexual activeness and teenage pregnancy.
- There are misconceptions about the use of contraceptives such as they cause barrenness, illness and even death.
- There are increased cases of community stakeholders compromising the disadvantaged situation of young people particularly girls.
The final report integrating participants’ inputs will be launched in June.