Health Seeking Behaviour for Key Sexually Transmitted Infections among the Female Sex Workers in Eldoret Municipality, Uasin-Gishu County, Kenya
Ngure, Miriam Wanjiru
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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are being increasingly recognized as serious global health problem with impact on individual women and men, their families and communities. They can have severe consequences, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, miscarriage, and increased risk of HIV transmission. STIs are the main preventable cause of infertility, particularly in women. The general objective of the study was to establish the determinants of health seeking behaviour among the female sex workers for key STIs in Eldoret Municipality in Uasin Gishu county, Kenya. The specific objectives were to examine the female sex workers’ knowledge of key STIs, to determine the healthcare seeking behaviour on key STIs among the female sex workers and to evaluate the determinants influencing health seeking behaviour for key STIs among the female sex workers. The sample size was 139 female sex workers who were selected through snowballing sampling technique. Data was collected using questionnaires, key informant interview schedule guide and Focused Group Discussions guide(FDGs). Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the variables. Hypothesis testing was done using chi-square and significance established at p≤ 0.05. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine independent predictors of health seeking behaviour for key sexually transmitted infections. The study findings indicated that majority (66.2%) of FSWs had high knowledge level on STIs, majority (80.7%) of the FSWs had ever experienced STI symptoms though only (52.1%) of them sought for treatment. The main determinants for health seeking behaviour for STIs were; perceived health care providers attitude and behaviour (χ2=66.617, df=1, P=<0.001), distance to the health facility (χ2=28.116, df=1, P=<0.001), treatment cost (χ2=41.707, df=1, P=<0.001), average waiting time (χ2=14.938, df=1, P=<0.001), level of education (χ2=6.802, df=2, P=0.033), monthly income (χ2=9.183, df=3, P=0.027), number of years in sex work (χ2=8.861,df=3,p=0.031) and sex debut(χ2=7.857,df=2,p=0.020)according to chisquare test of significance. The main predictors of health seeking behaviour for key STI were; perceived health care providers attitude and behaviour (OR=63.278: (18.973-211.036) P=<0.001), distance to the health facility (OR=10.993: (4.186- 28.869), P=<0.001), treatment cost (OR=18.462: (6.931-49.174), P=<0.001), average waiting time (OR=5.111: (2.165-12.067, P=<0.001), FSWs who had received a HIV test (OR=3.196; (1.389-7.352); p=0.001), educational level (OR=2.636; (1.060- 6.560); p=0.037) and monthly income (OR=2.880; (1.052-7.882); p=0.030). The study concluded that there were several determinants to accessing healthcare services for STIs and they were related to both individual and structural factors. Thus, there is need for NASCOP to continuously sensitize healthcare workers on healthcare service provision to FSWS indiscriminately and in a friendly manner in order to reduce on the barriers of accessing STI services among the FSWs.