Access to information and use of adolescent sexual reproductive health services : qualitative exploration of barriers and facilitators in Kisumu and Kakamega, Kenya

Authors & affiliation

Lilian Mutea, Susan Ontiri, Francis Kadiri, Kristien Michielesen, Peter Gichangi


Background: Kenya has a high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy and low access to and use of adolescent sexual reproductive health services. Despite the enactment of evidence-based policies to address this problem, adolescents continue to face health problems and barriers to adolescent sexual reproductive health information and services. Main objective: This study describes barriers to and facilitators of access to adolescent sexual and reproductive health services in Kisumu and Kakamega counties, Kenya. Methodology: We used a qualitative design. Through 61 data collection sessions, 113 participants were engaged in key informant interviews, in-depth interviews, and/or focus group discussions. Trained Research Assistants (RAs) engaged adolescents, health care workers, teachers, county leaders, and community representatives. Data were captured using audio recorders and field notes. Socio-demographic data were analyzed for descriptive statistics, while audio recordings were transcribed, translated, and coded. Thematic analysis was done with NVivo. Results: Findings show that the barriers of access to sexual reproductive health services and information were negative health workers’ attitudes, distance to the health facility, unaffordable cost of services, negative social cultural influences, lack of privacy and confidentiality. Facilitators to adolescent sexual reproductive health services were few and included getting priority for school going adolescents and enabling environment for partnerships on adolescent health issues. Conclusions: Adolescents in Kakamega and Kisumu face a myriad of barriers when seeking sexual reproductive health information and/or health services. We recommend that counties sensitize all stakeholders on adolescent sexual reproductive health problems, and support development of multi-sectoral, sustainable solutions to adolescent health needs.

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Staff members:

Peter Gichangi

Link to publication

Open link


journal.pone.0241985.pdf (open)

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