Background: Sexual activity among youth is common in developing countries like Ethiopia. However, the utilization of Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health services is poor. This predisposes them to sexual and reproductive health problems.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the perception and experience of youths in accessing Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health services in west Ethiopia
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and observations of health facilities that provide Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health services.
A total of four focus group discussions each comprising 8 to 9 youths aged 15-24 years, eight in-depth interviews with service providers, and observations of seven service units in health facilities were conducted. Data was analyzed using a thematic framework approach.
Results: It was explored that Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health service utilization was very low. Youths have limited awareness about the availability of the services in health facilities. There were perceptions that youths do not feel confident to utilize adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health services because of fear of shame, poor privacy, providers’ attitude and workload, and inconvenient location of the service unit. Working hours, supply shortages, and service fees were other factors affecting the utilization of AYSRH.
Conclusion: Youths in the study areas had poor perceptions about youth-friendly services because of factors related to their awareness of sexual and reproductive health, providers’ attitudes, and health facilities. Therefore, it is better if the concerned bodies work on changing perceptions of youths by raising their awareness of youth-friendly services.
Keywords: Perception, Youth, Sexual, Reproductive Health, Utilization