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Original Research Articles

Lived Experiences of Women with Disabilities in Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Lira District, Northern Uganda

Authors:

Lamech Emoru ,

Adina Foundation Uganda, UG
About Lamech

Emoru Lamech is an Organization Manager at Adina Foundation Uganda. He received his Master's degree in Public Health, Population and Reproductive Health concentration from Uganda Martyrs University. He also has a Bachelor's degree in Health Services Management from the Islamic University in Uganda and a Diploma in Physiotherapy from Uganda Institute of Allied Health Professionals. Emoru also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation from Uganda Management Institute. His research interests are - disability studies, sexual reproductive health and health systems strengthening.

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Enos Mirembe Masereka,

Kabale University, UG
About Enos Mirembe
Enos Mirembe Masereka is a Lecturer of Midwifery at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Medicine, Kabale University. He holds a Master of Nursing (Midwifery and Women’s Health) degree from Makerere University and a Master of Public Health (Population & Reproductive Health) degree from Uganda Martyrs University. He worked as a Lecturer of Midwifery at Mountains of the Moon University and with Save the Children International as a resource person. His current research interests are Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health.
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Richard Kabanda

Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, UG
About Richard

Richard is a Public Health Specialist with expertise in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Currently, he is the acting head of Health Promotion, Education and Health Communication Department at the Ministry of Health, Uganda. He is also a Lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Richard previously worked with Masaka and Rakai Districts local governments, St. Francis Hospital, Nkonkonjeru, Kyetume CBHC Programme, and Vision for Africa International. He has practiced Dentistry, Health Education and Public Health, and has authored several articles in local and regional newspapers. Richard has also authored and co-authored a number of papers in peer-reviewed journals on public health issues. His areas of interest are: Disease prevention and control, Health communication and Community health among others.

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Abstract

Purpose: The study aimed at exploring the lived experiences of women with disabilities in accessing sexual and reproductive health services in Lira district, Northern Uganda.

Method: This study utilised a phenomenological study design. Ten women, aged 15 - 49 years, were purposively selected from Lira District Union of Persons with Disabilities. They were accessing sexual and reproductive health services across the district. Data was collected using an in-depth interview guide, and thereafter thematic analysis was done.

Results: More than half (60%) of the participants were 40-50 years old and had more than 2 children. Half of them (50%) were married; the majority (70%) resided in the rural area and had a physical disability. They related their positive and negative experiences. On the positive side, they indicated the existence of supportive stakeholders, availability of services, and being served with no discrimination in some health facilities. Negatively, they experienced difficulty in navigating the physical environment in health facilities, lack of transport, negative healthcare provider attitudes, long waiting time, side effects of family planning methods, lack of privacy and unhygienic sanitary environments in health facilities.

Conclusion and Recommendations: Women with disability in Lira district had both positive and negative experiences in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Recommendations of this study include counselling women with disabilities about side effects of hormonal family planning methods, incorporating disability studies in curricula for health workers, on-the-job training for health workers on care for persons with disabilities, and enforcing policies that favour access to sexual and reproductive health services for women with disability. The government should empower the local leadership to supervise every new health facility that is being constructed, and ensure that accessibility standards for women with disabilities are met.
How to Cite: Emoru, L., Masereka, E.M. and Kabanda, R., 2022. Lived Experiences of Women with Disabilities in Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Lira District, Northern Uganda. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 33(2), pp.8–21. DOI: http://doi.org/10.47985/dcidj.506
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Published on 05 Aug 2022.

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