Assessing interprofessional and integrated care in providing sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents at primary healthcare level in Nigeria

Prince Agwu (Lead / Corresponding author), Ifunanya Agu, Nkoli Ezumah, Chinyere Mbachu, Obinna Onwujekwe

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Abstract

Purpose: Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) interventions demand diverse services, encompassing medical, social and psychological care to ensure the overall wellbeing of service users. In the absence of multidisciplinary response to SRH interventions, service users could be deprived of crucial SRH services, which could undermine their safety and wellbeing. Based on this knowledge, our study was designed to map the interprofessional space in primary healthcare (PHC) facilities in Ebonyi State, Nigeria that deliver SRH services.

Design/methodology/approach: Interviews with 20 health workers and group discussions with 72 young people aged 15–24 years provided the data for the study. We analyzed data deductively, focusing on the assessments of the presence or absence of specific professionals that are typically expected to provide different aspects of SRH services.

Findings: We found conspicuous absence of laboratory diagnostic, social care, psycho-cognitive and some medical services expected of primary care. These absences necessitated unnecessary referrals, encouraged breaches in confidentiality, undermined social care and justice, increased cost of care and discouraged young clients from utilizing SRH services provided in PHCs. Our study, therefore, emphasizes the need for integrated care in the delivery of SRH services, which would involve relevant diverse professionals contributing their expertise toward comprehensive care for SRH service users.

Originality/value: The study provides human resource insights toward strengthening primary healthcare in Nigeria vis-à-vis efficient delivery of SRH services to guarantee the health security of service users.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Governance
Early online date9 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Integrated care
  • Interprofessional care
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Social care
  • Nigeria

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