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Stud Fam Plann ; 53(3): 393-415, 2022 09.
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.

COVID-19 , Family Planning Services , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Community Health Services , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
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