Reproductive health needs and coping mechanisms of internally displaced adolescents: A case study of Amuria IDP camp in Katakwi District, Uganda.
MetadataShow full item record
The study, “Reproductive Health Needs And Coping Mechanisms of Internally Displaced Adolescents: A Case Study Of Amuria Internally Displaced People’s Camp In Katakwi District, Uganda”, was designed with the following objectives: (1) to find out the SRH services available to meet the needs of adolescents in IDP camps, (2) to establish the SRH needs of adolescents in IDP camps, and (3) to find out the SRH coping mechanisms of adolescents in IDP camps. At the time of the study, there were about 222,983 IDPs leaving in over 54 major IDP Camps in Katakwi District alone. Several studies on the impact of conflict have been carried out but much has not been investigated regarding the relationship between conflict and sexual and reproductive health, especially of adolescents, yet this is one of the greatest needs for adolescents in conflict situations. Consequently, this study was conducted. The study employed four main data collection strategies, namely: survey, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and observations. Data was collected from 159 participants including a stratified sample of 151 adolescents leaving in Amuria IDP camp. Study findings reveal that existing services in Amuria IDP camp were intended to meet general needs of the people. There was hardly any evidence of deliberately designed services to meet specific needs of adolescents. In addition, there were gender imbalances in ASRH services including limitations in availability and affordability of services and supplies to female adolescents. Regarding ASRH needs, findings show that prescriptive materials (like condoms and sanitary pads) are the most pressing needs for adolescents across all ages. It is interesting to note that some female adolescents named condoms among their most pressing needs. However, this study did not investigate the high demand for condoms by female adolescents. This need arose partly because of the unaffordable cost and the poor distribution systems for the prescriptive materials. It is important to note that the needs of adolescents in Amuria IDP camp are not well understood or defined, making it difficult to design relevant adolescent SRH services in the camp. To cope with sexual and reproductive health challenges and needs, adolescents employed a number of strategies that included, in extreme cases, the use of leaves (in place of sanitary pads) by female adolescents during menstruation. Adolescents also use either painkillers (like aspirin) as emergency contraceptive pills or polythene bags during sex instead of condoms, both aimed to prevent pregnancy. In order to address the ASRH needs, the study recommended foremost that the Government of Uganda together with other stakeholder should continue to work and to speed up efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict (with LRA and Karamojong Warriors) in the North and Eastern part of the country. This conflict is the root cause of the Camps and consequently the poor ASRH situation in this region. In addition, ASRH service providers should design programmes and services that meet specific needs of adolescents in IDP camps and those affected by conflict.