In and out-of-school male adolescents’ involvement in sexual and reproductive health: a case of Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Despite the recognition of men involvement in SRH from two conferences held in Cairo and Beijing in 1994 and 1995 respectively, the focus of male adolescents’ in SRH have been scarcely documented in sub-Saharan African countries, Tanzania inclusive. A survey complimented by focus group discussions (FGDs) was done in five randomly selected streets in Dar es Salaam city to examine in and out-of-school male adolescents’ knowledge on pregnancy and its related risks, key sources of RH information and RH needs. The study instruments used were a pre-tested questionnaire and an interview guide. Close and open ended questionnaires were administered to 414 respondents and were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Content analysis was used for qualitative data analysis. Both written and oral consent were sought from the willing respondents and their parents for minor respondents (less than 18 years) for this study. Anonymity and confidentiality were maintained at all stages (data collection and report writing). The findings show that both in and out-of-school respondents had high knowledge related to unwanted pregnancy constituting 58.7 per cent and 55.8 per cent respectively. Expulsion from school, getting imprisoned and getting into early responsibilities were the most known risks related to unwanted pregnancy among both in and out-of-school respondents. Peers (25.5 per cent among in school and 30.1 per cent among out-of-school respondents) and magazines such as Si Mchezo and FEMA (40.4 per cent for in-school respondents) and television (40.8 per cent for out-of-school respondents) were the key sources of RH information among respondents. However in-school respondents had more access to the sources compared to their counterpart. Familial guidance was the most RH need needed among both in and out-of-school respondents (36.1 per cent and 34.5 per cent respectively). There were statistical significant relationship between RH needs and residence (0.054), schooling status (p=0.006) and sexual relationship status (p=0.020) among other variables. For the case of the needed intervention, RH education being given at school was the most recommended intervention needed among in-school respondents (35.6 per cent) while out-of-school recommended more for provision of RH information through media (27.7 per cent). The chi-square test marked a significant association between the schooling status and RH education being given at school and provision of outreach program needed intervention with p=0.006 and p=0.000 respectively. It was then recommended that, more comprehensive information on pregnancy in particular and SRH in general need to be given to male adolescents especially to out-of-school. The group was observed to have less access to different sources for RH information as compared to their counterpart. Parents especially fathers need to communicate with their male children and give a closer look at their whereabouts as it is done among girls in many African societies. In addition to that, government through policy makers and adolescents health practitioners should ensure that school based education provides comprehensive information about family life education by targeting male adolescents. Pregnancy and SRH issues in general should not only be considered as a female issue; rather both female and male adolescents should be involved. This will be helpful measure in preparing them to become responsible adults and can contribute to the improvement of both female and male SRH in future.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HQ427.T34M3253)
Teenagers, Sexual behavior, Health and hygine, Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania
Mbelwa, A. (2014). In and out-of-school male adolescents’ involvement in sexual and reproductive health: a case of Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.