Sexual and reproductive health services of adolescents in Turkey

Sexual and reproductive health services of adolescents in Turkey

A. Akin, M. Ertem, K. Celik, S. Bahar Ozvaris

Hacettepe University, Medical School,

Public Health Department, Ankara, Turkey

Aim Addressing adolescents’ sexual and

reproductive health (S/RH) issues is an important attempt as adolescents are

exposed to increased risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted


Objectives The main objectives of the study which was carried out with the

collaboration of WHO/HRP was to identify perceptions, attitudes of adolescents

with regard to S/RH; to determine the level of RH/FP service utilization and the

expectations of university students in terms of S/RH services. Furthermore, the

long-term objective was identified as developing a S/RH services model that will

meet adolescents’ needs.

Methods Both qualitative and quantitative methods were

used and the first year students at Hacettepe University Beytepe Campus (Ankara)

and Dicle University (Diyarbakir) participated in the study. In the first phase,

8 focus group discussions were conducted among 62 students then a total of 3666

students which was 84.7% of the entire group were surveyed by using

self-administered questionnaire in 2001. Collected data was processed by using

SPSS 10.00.

Results “Physician/professional” is found as the last

source of S/RH information. The majority of students in both universities (82%

at Hacettepe University, 91% at Dicle University) stated that, so far, they have

not received any S/RH service. Students also expressed preferring well-qualified

and sensitive service providers who can form friendly relationships with young

people rather than a traditional physician-patient approach. It was pointed out

that, neither current system is specific to S/RH nor young people can receive

comprehensive S/RH services from well-trained health personnel.

Conclusion The

results underlined the necessity of more comprehensive, confidential, flexible

and high quality S/RH services specific to young people that are provided by

well qualified and specifically trained professionals. Based on the findings,

“Youth Counselling Units” were established where young people can

receive youth friendly S/RH services. It is also planned to open Youth

Counselling Units at five other universities at different provinces in Turkey by

modelling the units that were established before.

Scroll to Top