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Integrating sexual health interventions into reproductive health services : programme experience from developing countries

Document type: report
Download file(s): 113731 (812 KB)
Abstract: This document reviews the experiences of developing countries in integrating sexual health issues into reproductive health care services, from 1998 to 2003. It attempts to define the challenges posed by integration and highlights the gaps that remain. Experience with the integration of sexual health counselling (including discussion and assessment of individual risks of STIs - sexually transmitted infections - and pregnancy, sexuality, and sexual behaviour) has shown that clients appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues with health workers. In some settings, integration of sexuality counselling improved the quality of the family planning services, client satisfaction and staff motivation. Effectiveness is increased when health workers are both motivated and well trained. Facility-based interventions need to be complemented by advocacy and widespread work in the community. The barriers to integrated services need to be defined; in many cases, even when interventions are known to be effective, they may not be implemented or sustained (e.g. antenatal syphilis screening). A broad sexual health service that incorporates elements of counselling, screening, client management, and partner management will require additional staff training and supervision. Referral services will need to be strengthened (e.g. for women found to have abnormalities on cervical screening); and laboratory services will need additional resources to enable them to support integrated screening and management programmes for cervical cancer and STIs. Furthermore, there is little experience with taking interventions to scale and more thought needs to be devoted to the mechanisms and requirements for scaling up successful integrated services.
Authors: Koning, K. de , Hawkes, S. , Hilber, A.M. , Waelkens, M.-P. , Colombini, M. , Kwaak, A. van der , Ormel, H.
Category: Policy
Keywords: health services
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: ix, 79
Place: Geneva
Publisher: World Health Organization (WHO)
Year: 2005
Right: © 2005 World Health Organization. This document may be freely reviewed, abstracted, reproduced and translated, in part or in whole, but may not be sold or used for commercial purposes.
Subject: Health and Nutrition
Title: Integrating sexual health interventions into reproductive health services : programme experience from developing countries