Effects of an Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Intervention on Health Service Usage by Young People in Northern Ghana: A Community-Randomised Trial

June 2015 - Structural Prevention

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Aninanya, G. A., Debpuur, C. Y., Awine, T., et al. PLOS ONE (April 2015), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125267.

The study investigated whether a community-based adolescent sexual and reproductive health intervention in northern Ghana was associated with increased adolescent use of selected reproductive health services. A total of 2,664 adolescents in 26 communities were allocated to intervention or comparison groups. The intervention group (n = 1,288) received a school-based curriculum, out-of-school outreach, community mobilization, and health worker training in youth-friendly health services, while the comparison group (n = 1,376) received community mobilization and youth-friendly health services training only. Comparison of the baseline (2005) and endline (2008) data showed significantly greater increases in the use of services for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the intervention group (from 3 to 17 percent) relative to the control group (from 5 percent to 8 percent). More young men than young women used STI services at endline (64 percent versus 36 percent in the intervention communities and 57 percent versus 36 percent in the comparison communities). Use of antenatal services increased in the intervention group (from 3 percent to 12 percent). Satisfaction with services received increased more among adolescents in intervention communities (from 18 percent to 43 percent) than in comparison groups (from 17 percent to 28 percent). The authors concluded that school-based and peer-outreach interventions were associated with increased service usage and could be used in future programming.

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