Health service providers play a significant role in crafting and implementing health policies and programs that manage adolescent sexual health-related issues at different health system levels. These influence adolescent sexual behaviours and practices.
This study explored the roles of health service providers in managing adolescent sexual issues and how this impacts their sexual behaviours and practices. The study further probed the health service providers on how the indigenous health system could be integrated into the modern health system for effective management of adolescent sexual health related issues.
A qualitative cross-sectional survey was conducted on purposively selected health service providers in health facilities in Mberengwa and Umguza districts. Data was collected using unstructured interviews that were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed. Findings were presented as clearly defined as superordinate and subordinate themes.
A total of five superordinate themes and 19 subordinate themes emerged from the interrogated data. The superordinate themes were: overview of adolescent sexual health issues, role of modern health system in adolescent sexual health issues, challenges encountered, indigenous health system factors that could be factored into modern health systems, and strategies to foster the integration of indigenous health system and modern health system. The subordinate themes explored in-depth the findings of the key stakeholders under the five superordinate themes.
From the findings, it can be concluded that health service providers play an essential role in shaping and providing adolescent sexual health services that adolescents utilise despite challenges that have reduced demand for these services. Therefore, there is a need to point out that there is a window of opportunity to foster collaborations between the indigenous health system and the modern health system as they strive to serve the adolescents to the best of their ability though in different contextual settings.