Nurse-Midwives' Attitudes towards Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Kenya and Zambia

Posted: 18 Jul 2006  

Linnea U. Warenius

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Elisabeth Faxelid

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Petronella Chishimba

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Joyce O. Musandu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Antony A. Ong'any

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Eva B.-M. Nissen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Adolescent sexuality is a highly charged moral issue in Kenya and Zambia. Nurse-midwives are the core health care providers of adolescent sexual and reproductive health services but public health facilities are under-utilised by adolescents. The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes among Kenyan and Zambian nurse-midwives (n=820) toward adolescent sexual and reproductive health problems, in order to improve services for adolescents. Data were collected through a questionnaire. Findings revealed that nurse-midwives disapproved of adolescent sexual activity, including masturbation, contraceptive use and abortion, but also had a pragmatic attitude to handling these issues. Those with more education and those who had received continuing education on adolescent sexuality and reproduction showed a tendency towards more youth-friendly attitudes. We suggest that critical thinking around the cultural and moral dimensions of adolescent sexuality should be emphasised in undergraduate training and continuing education, to help nurse-midwives to deal more empathetically with the reality of adolescent sexuality. Those in nursing and other leadership positions could also play an important role in encouraging wider social discussion of these matters. This would create an environment that is more tolerant of adolescent sexuality and that recognises the beneficial public health effect for adolescents of greater access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services.

Keywords: adolescents, sexuality, beliefs/norms/values, training of service providers, youth-friendly services, critical thinking, Kenya, Zambia

Suggested Citation

Warenius, Linnea U. and Faxelid, Elisabeth and Chishimba, Petronella and Musandu, Joyce O. and Ong'any, Antony A. and Nissen, Eva B.-M., Nurse-Midwives' Attitudes towards Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Kenya and Zambia. Reproductive Health Matters, Vol. 14, No. 27, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=916733

Linnea U. Warenius (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Elisabeth Faxelid

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Petronella Chishimba

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Joyce O. Musandu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Antony A. Ong'any

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Eva B.-M. Nissen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
772