Barriers of Asian Youth to Access Sexual Reproductive Health Information and Services: A Literature Review

Authors

1 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran.

2 Student Research Committee, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran.

Abstract

Background
Despite recommendations from the World Health Organization in most Asian countries, young people’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs are poorly provided and understood. The aim of this review paper is identifying barriers as well as improving strategies to access SRH information and services among Asian youth.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a review study and the databases used to search for articles include: Web of Science, Scopus, Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library, WHO, UNFPA, and UNESCO. The search terms "sexual health", "reproductive health", "reproductive health service", "information", "knowledge", "sex education", "barrier", "challenge", "strategy", "promotion" were used and combined with "Asian", "adolescent", "teenager", "youth" and "young people". In this study we sought both qualitative and quantitative articles published between Jan 2008 and Jan 2019.
Results
Limited knowledge on SRH among youth, lack of youth friendly services, socio-cultural, legal, policy, leadership and political factors were the main obstacles of Asian youth to access SRH information and services. Culturally sensitive community based intervention, involving religious and social leaders, reforming health services and policies, considering integration of refugee youth’s SRH needs into policy of local governments in Asian critical areas and use of new media for distribution of information were identified as effective strategies for improving youth SRH.
Conclusion
Socio-cultural and structural barriers are the most important challenge of Asian youth to access health services. Restructuring health system and polices, culturally appropriate sex education are required to improve youth access to SRH services.

Keywords