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African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2071-2936
Print version ISSN 2071-2928


MALAPELA, Rakgadi G.; MBOWENI, Sheillah H.  and  RISENGA, Patrone R.. Perceptions of community health workers on teenage pregnancy in rural Limpopo: A qualitative study. Afr. j. prim. health care fam. med. (Online) [online]. 2024, vol.16, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2071-2936.

BACKGROUND: Despite measures put in place to combat teenage pregnancy, the rate remains high. Community health workers (CHWs) are a cadre of health workers that can help put measures in place to reduce teenage pregnancy in the communities in which they live and work. AIM: This article aims to gain a deeper understanding of CHWs' perceptions regarding teenage pregnancy in the rural districts of Limpopo province. METHODS: An exploratory qualitative study approach was employed to collect data from CHWs in two rural districts of Limpopo. A non-probability purposive sampling approach was used to choose 81 CHWs. Eight focus group discussions (FGDs) were organised, and audio recorded to collect data from participants. The discussions were 2-3 h long and conducted in English, and data saturation was attained by the fifth FGDs. RESULTS: An eight-step tech's content analysis approach was employed to deductively code, analyse and summarise data into themes. Three themes emerged: the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in rural villages, factors contributing to teenage pregnancy and challenges faced by CHWs when dealing with teenage pregnancy. CONCLUSION: The study's findings revealed that CHWs face challenges in their communities when offering appropriate teen pregnancy services and CHWs believe that teen pregnancy numbers remain high. There is a significant barrier in combating teenage pregnancy; if contraceptives are not acceptable to the community, the only solution and option for combating teenage pregnancy is abstinence. CONTRIBUTION: The CHWs presented their insights of teenage pregnancy in rural communities. The outcomes of this study could help clinical practise, schools, communities, youth-friendly services, policymakers and other non-governmental organisations reduce teenage pregnancy.

Keywords : community health workers; exploratory; perceptions; qualitative study; teenage pregnancy.

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