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Stud Fam Plann ; 2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901843


The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious impacts on economic, social, and health systems, and fragile public health systems have become overburdened in many countries, exacerbating existing service delivery challenges. This study describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family planning services within a community-based integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health intervention for youth aged 16-24 years being trialled in Zimbabwe (CHIEDZA). It examines the experiences of health providers and clients in relation to how the first year of the pandemic affected access to and use of contraceptives.

Sex Reprod Health Matters ; 30(1): 2029338, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704003


COVID-19 threatens hard-won gains in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) through compromising the ability of services to meet needs. Youth are particularly threatened due to existing barriers to their access to services. CHIEDZA is a community-based integrated SRH intervention for youth being trialled in Zimbabwe. CHIEDZA closed in March 2020, in response to national lockdown, and reopened in May 2020, categorised as an essential service. We aimed to understand the impact of CHIEDZA's closure and its reopening, with adaptations to reduce COVID-19 transmission, on provider and youth experiences. Qualitative methods included interviews with service providers (n = 22) and youth (n = 26), and observations of CHIEDZA sites (n = 10) and intervention team meetings (n = 7). Analysis was iterative and inductive. The sudden closure of CHIEDZA impeded youth access to SRH services. The reopening of CHIEDZA was welcomed, but the necessary adaptations impacted the intervention and engagement with it. Adaptations restricted time with healthcare providers, heightening the tension between numbers of youths accessing the service and quality of service provision. The removal of social activities, which had particularly appealed to young men, impacted youth engagement and access to services, particularly for males. This paper demonstrates how a community-based youth-centred SRH intervention has been affected by and adapted to COVID-19. We demonstrate how critical ongoing service provision is, but how adaptations negatively impact service provision and youth engagement. The impact of adaptations additionally emphasises how time with non-judgemental providers, social activities, and integrated services are core components of youth-friendly services, not added extras.

COVID-19 , Reproductive Health , Adolescent , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Zimbabwe
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 106, 2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703683


BACKGROUND: Despite the availability of a range of contraceptive methods, young people around the world still face barriers in accessing and using them. The use of digital technology for the delivery of health interventions has expanded rapidly. Intervention delivery by mobile phone can be a useful way to address young people's needs with regard to sexual and reproductive health, because the information can be digested at a time of the recipients' choosing. This study reports the adaptation of an evidence-based contraceptive behavioural intervention for young people in Zimbabwe. METHODS: Focus group discussions and in depth interviews were used to evaluate the 'fit' of the existing intervention among young people in Harare, Zimbabwe. This involved determining how aligned the content of the existing intervention was to the knowledge and beliefs of young Zimbabweans plus identifying the most appropriate intervention deliver mode. The verbatim transcripts were analysed using a thematic analysis. The existing intervention was then adapted, tested and refined in subsequent focus group discussions and interviews with young people in Harare and Bulawayo. RESULTS: Eleven key themes resulted from the discussions evaluating the fit of the intervention. While there were many similarities to the original study population, key differences were that young people in Zimbabwe had lower levels of personal and smart mobile phone ownership and lower literacy levels. Young people were enthusiastic about receiving information about side effects/side benefits of the methods. The iterative testing and refinement resulted in adapted intervention consisting of 97 messages for female recipients (94 for male), delivered over three months and offered in English, Shona and Ndebele. CONCLUSIONS: Young people in Zimbabwe provided essential information for adapting the existing intervention. There was great support for the adapted intervention among the young people who took part in this study. The adapted intervention is now being implemented within an integrated community-based sexual and reproductive health service in Zimbabwe.

Cell Phone , Contraceptive Agents , Adolescent , Contraception , Female , Humans , Male , Reproductive Health , Zimbabwe