Name(s) of Faculty Adviser/Mentor
Dr. Larry Irons
What description best describes your work?
Research (you collect data)
Access to and use of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Senegal remains low despite local and international interventions and campaigns to increase contraception use, increase knowledge regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), and increase access to reproductive health services. Among marginalized groups, such as people living with disabilities, access to and use of services and information are even lower, and there are gaps in research involving Senegalese people with disabilities and their access to and use of SRH services and information. This mixed-methods, community-based participatory research examines how Senegalese women navigate their sexual and reproductive health care. It seeks to illuminate the factors that stimulate or block access to SRH services for women with motor disabilities; to discover the extent to which these women know about common STIs, contraception, and from where they receive/d this information; and to highlight the experiences they have had while accessing these health services and information. After using a snowball sampling method to identify participants, 31 women in the Dakar region were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Results show that these women have faced significant discrimination from health care professionals because of their disabilities, have difficulties accessing health care services because of inaccessibility, have low knowledge of STIs and contraception, and wish to see improvements in the Senegalese health care system specifically geared toward people with disabilities. Evidence from this research may lead to policy and programmatic changes regarding SRH services so that women with physical disabilities receive and are able to access health care and information that is best tailored to their needs.