Despite Ethiopia’s enormous effort in youth-friendly service provision, little was investigated about the challenges of accessing sexual and reproductive health services in Western Ethiopia. Thus, this study aimed to assess factors associated with the utilization of adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health services in this area.
A community-based cross-sectional quantitative method mixed with the qualitative inquiry was conducted among 771 adolescents and youth aged 15 to 24 years from February 1 to 28, 2020. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews using pretested structured questionaries. Data were entered using EPI-INFO version 7.0 and analyzed by SPSS version 25. Descriptive analysis and logistic regressions were performed. The adjusted odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval was used and statistical significance was declared at P-value < 0.05. The qualitative inquiry was collected through in-depth interviews with service providers, focus group discussions, and observation checklists of service units in the study facilities. Data were analyzed thematically.
The mean age of participants was 18.99 years (SD ± 2.49). Two hundred seventeen (28.1%) of participants reported that they have ever heard about adolescents’ and youth’s reproductive health services. Only 66 (8.6%) have ever visited health facilities for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Factors associated with the utilization of sexual and reproductive health service were age from 15 to 19 years (AOR = 0.36; 95%CI: 0.17, 0.76), history of having sexual intercourse(AOR = 5.34;95%CI: 2.53, 11.23), ever heard about sexual reproductive health service (AOR = 11.33; 95%CI: 5.59, 22.96), and visited a health facility for other health services (AOR = 5.12; 95%CI:1.72,15.24).
Sexual and reproductive health service utilization among adolescents and youth was found to be low. The factors associated with adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health services utilization were age, history of ever having sexual intercourse, ever heard about SRH services, and visit the health facility for other services. Therefore, it is better if the concerned bodies work on improving awareness of adolescents and youth towards SRH services and integrating these services into other routine services.