Male reproductive health in Lesotho: needs, knowlegde, attitudes and practices
Phoofolo, Agnes Moelo
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Most reproductive health programmes in Lesotho are designated for women only, such as the family planning programmes, which focus only on women and children and exclude men. Male reproductive health programmes do not exist in Lesotho. Yet men, like women, have different reproductive health needsand problems at different stages of their development. The purpose of this study was to determine men's needs, knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding reproductive health. A non-experimental design of a descriptive nature was used. The survey method was used to gather data. Probability sampling techniques were used to select the sample of 794 male respondents from the 10 districts of Lesotho. Focus group discussions and structured interviews were used to collect data from the respondents aged 15 to 60 years and older, living in the rural and urban areas of Lesotho. Ethical principles as relevant to the conduct of research involving human subjects was adhered to, such as obtaining the necessary permission and complying with the human rights of the respondents. All data was analysed on a nominal descriptive level. The results of the study showed that men needed more knowledge and information related to male reproductive health; their attitudes towards their own reproductive health and the services to be delivered varied; they did not possess adequate information related to safe reproductive health practices and indicated that they (men) would utilise male reproductive health services provided they existed. Basedon the above, recommendations were made that health care programme managers in Lesotho should design men friendly programmes and services. The education of health care providers should be modified to include male reproductive health and all health care providers should be trained to render quality male-friendly reproductive health care. Furthermore the need for further research into male reproductive health was emphasized. Lastly, a proposed male reproductive health programme has been outlined as a qutdellne for health care managers.
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