Barriers of the Health Sector of Iran in Response to Sexual and Reproductive Needs of Young People: Perspectives from Key Informants
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This study explored the perceived barriers to the provision of sexual and reproductive health information and services for young people in the health sector of Iran. This is a qualitative study; data were collected in Tehran, capital of Iran. The study method included two parts: in-depth interview with 54 key stakeholders including religious leaders, policy makers, senior academics, and health care managers; and six focus groups with staff from provisional and local levels. The identified barriers by the key informants in the health care system and in other organizations were classified into four categories: the political ambiguity about reproductive rights, the ineffective arrangement and inefficient programs, the lack of capable human resources, and the poor collaboration and coordination among key actors. There are many barriers in addressing young people's sexual and reproductive health needs in Iran; therefore, the health sector of Iran has to be strengthened in this area. This requires strong political support and collaboration between various stakeholders to carry out sustainable and coordinated intervention. Such health reinforcement efforts will eventually impact the health of young people positively.
KeywordsHealth sector Iran Sexual and reproductive health Youth-friendly health services
We would like to thank the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Deputy of Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, and Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services. Our special gratitude to the following colleagues who have assisted us in the different stages of this work: Dr. Safieh Shahriari Afshar, Dr. Farideh Khalaj Abadi Farahani, Zahra Majd, and Reza Bayat.
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