Barriers to utilisation of RH services for young people

What factors could affect the utilisation of reproductive health services by young people in your area?

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There are many factors that affect the utilisation of available sexual and reproductive health services by young people. We can categorise these as: individual/personal factors, institutional factors, and social/cultural factors. Some examples of these factors are presented below.

Barriers to RH service utilisation.

Individual/personal factorsCultural/social factorsInstitutional factors
Marital status Awareness level of the communities

Judgemental health professionals

Gender norms Attitudes towards young people's sexual behaviour Locations: distant facilities, services very close to where adults are being served
Sexual activities Attitude towards AYRH services Timing: RH services being provided may not have convenient times for young people. If it takes an unreasonably long waiting time to get the service, it is likely that they won't use it.
Schooling status Parent–child interactions Cost: if the RH services are not provided at reasonable cost, young people can't access them
Childbearing status Peer pressure Space: if young people are not counselled and served in a private space, they will be afraid that they will be seen by adults
Economic status
Rural/urban residence

Stop reading and think of your experience. How does each of the factors listed under the individual/personal and cultural/social categories affect service utilisation by a young person? For instance, if the young person is unmarried and female, she will be less likely to use RH services. In communities where the awareness level is high and people are supportive of RH services for young people, it will be easier for young people to use RH services.

We believe that you have important roles in addressing these barriers to RH service utilisation. In the next section we will suggest some specific things you could do to reduce these barriers.

Last modified: Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 2:16 PM