Although 25% of the Ethiopian population is young, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services have not been adequately researched and intervened, leaving adolescents with many reproductive health challenges. Assessment of the uptake of each element of SRH service and its determinants among those age groups is essential to improving service uptake and reducing the burden of illness and disability in adolescents. Thus, this study aimed at assessing the uptake of key elements of SRH services and its determinants among adolescents residing in rural districts of Guraghe zone, Southern Ethiopia.
A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out from May 1 to 30, 2020, and a multi-stage sampling technique was employed to randomly select 1028 adolescents. The data were collected by using a pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire. The data were coded and entered into Epi-Data version 3.1 and exported into SPSS version 23 for analysis. Independent t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were run to determine whether there were statistically significant differences in the mean number of SRH services used across each categorical variable. A multivariable generalized linear regression (GLM) model with a Poisson link was used to determine the effect of each variable on the mean number of SRH services used. Adjusted odds ratios with their corresponding 95% confidence interval were used to declare the statistical significance of the independent variables.
The study included 1,009 adolescents, yielding a response rate of 98.1%. The use of the SRH service was assessed using eight elements, and the mean (± SD) score of service uptake was 4.05 (± 1.94), with only 6.8% of adolescents receiving all key elements. Comprehensive sexuality education (55.1%) and voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing (51.0%) were the commonest service items used by adolescents, while the provision of contraceptives was the lowest service item received (25.9%). Educational level (AOR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.03–1.56), having a parental discussion (AOR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.13–1.51), lack of youth clubs (AOR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.66–0.87), and knowledge on SRH issues (AOR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.73–0.85) were identified as significant predictors of the uptake of key elements of SRH services.
The overall uptake of SRH services was found to be low in the study area. Schools should be an excellent means of educating adolescents to increase their knowledge of key elements of SRH services. Furthermore, stakeholders must work together to improve the culture of parental discussion with adolescents and establish and strengthen youth clubs, as measures for encouraging the use of SRH services.