Perceptions of Sexual Healthcare Provision in Tanzania: a Key Informant Qualitative Study

Lucy R. Mgopa, Michael W. Ross, Gift Gadiel Lukumay, Stella Emmanuel Mushy, Ever Mkony, Agnes F. Massae, Dorkas L. Mwakawanga, Sebalda Leshabari, Inari Mohamed, Maria Trent, James Wadley, Zobeida E Bonilla, B. R.Simon Rosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Sexual health care services must be standard and unbiased, guided by a structured health care system. There is a scarcity of data on how sexual health care is delivered in Tanzania. Methods: To address this gap, in July 2019 we interviewed eleven key informants: cultural and public health experts, and political, religious, and community leaders, selected from different organizations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Participants were asked for their opinions about clinical practices of health care professionals when providing care to patients, with an emphasis on sexual health. Results: Participants’ responses were classified into three subcategories: strengths, barriers, and gaps in sexual health care. Availability of services, service delivery to adults, and code of conduct were among the strengths observed in clinical care services. Barriers included the health care provider’s attitudes, moral values, and inadequacy in health policies and treatment guidelines. Vulnerable populations including youth were frequently reported to face most challenges when seeking sexual health care services. In terms of gaps, informants emphasized gender equity in sexual health services provision within care settings. Conclusion and Implication: Data indicate that lack of training in sexual health and guidelines for dealing with sexual issues are a barrier to comprehensive health care. These findings can inform the main areas for curriculum developers to focus on, when developing an Afro-centric sexual health curriculum suitable for students in health care professional courses. Moreover, these findings can be useful when developing treatment guidelines and policies that are beneficial to the sexual health wellbeing of individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), under grant number R01HD092655.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Culture
  • HIV
  • Sexual health
  • Youth

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