Researchers observed 418 consultations with clients aged 12-24 years at 38 health facilities throughout Zimbabwe and interviewed both the clients and providers. Less than one per cent of clients at these facilities were aged 12-14 years; between 5% and 20% were aged 15-19 years. Compared with older clients, those aged 12 - 16 years came more often for antenatal care and medical problems and less often for family planning. In sessions with 12 - 16 years, the most common topics were STDs (48%) and school (46%), while sessions with older clients focused more on family planning (56-68%). Providers rarely discussed adolescence or nonsexual problems such as alcohol and drugs. Younger clients were less likely than older clients to ask questions without prompting (16%), expressed their concerns (27%), and they were more likely to appear embarrassed (58%) and shy (64%). Most service providers believed that the parents should be notified if a young, unmarried client was pregnant (89%), had HIV/AIDS (74%), or engaged in sex at "an early" age (73%). The findings suggest that young people may be reluctant to seek advice at health facilities because of legitimate concerns about privacy, providers' attitudes, and narrow focus on reproductive health.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||East African medical journal|
|State||Published - Aug 1 1997|
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