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Evidence suggests that despite the available adolescent health services in chingola district health facilities, there is no link between the schools and the health facilities offering adolescent health services. The paper describes the factors affecting adolescents’ access to and utilization of health services in schools.
The study was done among two secondary school students in their junior and senior grades. Data were collected from four focus group discussions and four key informants’ interviews. Data management analysis principles illuminating verbatim quotations are used to illustrate findings.
There is no linkage and referral system between the schools and the health facilities for adolescent health services. Adolescents need to be made aware of the services offered in health facilities. Those aware cannot visit the facilities because of distance to and from, the stigma of visiting the facilities from fellow students and the community, and inconvenient operating hours by the facilities, which makes them not leave classes.
The adolescents also indicated that they lack support from their parents, who are unaware of the services, and those aware have wrong views about them. It was also highlighted that the providers have a terrible attitude as they are deemed unfriendly and intimidating to adolescents.
Underutilization of adolescent health services by adolescents in schools of Chingola district of Zambia.
Establish and strengthen the linkage between the schools, health facilities, and adolescent health services through the collaboration of activities for the two institutions, activities like drama groups, outreach, and a calendar of activities.
To create awareness by sharing information with the adolescents during the school assemblies, school games, and school open days when both the parents and the students meet in schools
The services will be provided during weekends and any other free time to attract more adolescents to access them without inconvenience. The schools devise deliberate policies to allow them to visit the facilities whenever necessary with a referral slip from the schools.
Bio: Experienced public health care professional demonstrated clinical expertise, leadership skills, and technical knowledge, quality driven and efficient with strong interpersonal abilities. Passion for research as an upcoming public health researcher registered with the National Health Research Authority of Zambia.