Attitudes on availability and utilization of sexual reproductive heath information among adolescents in Uganda: A case study of Bubare Sub-County, Mbarara District
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This study set out to examines the; attitudes on availability, levels of utilisation and constraints to utilisation of sexual reproductive health information in Uganda focusing on Bubare sub-county, Kashari county, Mbarara District. The study observes that over the last 20 years, several factors are believed to have led to the poor reproductive health profile in the country. These factors include; rapid population growth, poor investment in health sector and dwindling household incomes, civil strife, break down of national economy, health infrastructure and the quality of health care. This situation has contributed to communities being less able to afford and access health care including reproductive health services. Against this background, the study examines these socio-development issues based on the following objectives; to establish the attitudes on availability of sexual reproductive health information; to examine the levels of utilisation of sexual reproductive health information by adolescents and to explore the constraints to utilisation of sexual reproductive health information by adolescents. The study used both primary and secondary data. It applied a descriptive research design using questionnaires, focus group discussions and interview guides in obtaining useful information. Respondents mainly included school going adolescents, health officers, community development workers, parents, teachers and local council officials. Study findings reveal that 90% of adolescents in rural areas lack adequate awareness about the available reproductive health information services. The few who get such information have minimally utilised these services (10%). The rural adolescents do not easily access sexual reproductive health information because rural areas in Uganda lack facilities that allow easy supply and distribution of health information and services. The study recommends that the government should provide intervention strategies, using its decentralised units in extending education and sensitisation programmes to rural areas. This should be done amidst interventions of other development partners like UNICEF, TASO, Straight Talk Foundation, private and public schools, CCF and World Health Organisations.