Background: Health care providers across sub-Saharan Africa continue to face challenges while delivering sexual health care services. We explored the experiences, views and challenges of health care professionals and health students across different disciplines in Tanzania, towards delivery of sexual health services to men who have sex with men. Methods: Utilizing a qualitative approach, we recruited 121 health care professionals (providers) and students from the fields of midwifery, nursing and medicine in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We conducted 18 focus groups discussions, stratified by profession and experience, to investigate clinical management and challenges while addressing a case of an adult male presenting with rectal gonorrhea. Results: Findings indicated this case as extremely sensitive, clinical management involved establishing rapport and consent, medical care from history taking to treatment, and referral to other specialties. However, the illegal status of homosexuality in Tanzania was a primary concern to participants, this triggered the clinical care of this case scenario as challenging. There were uncertainties whether or not that such a case should be reported to the authorities. Conclusion: Findings from this study revealed a need for training health students in Tanzania to address sexual health issues including accurate information on homosexuality, reporting requirements and clinical management in the legal and socio-cultural context of the African continent.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This manuscript was authored as part of the Training for Health Professionals study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) National Institutes of Health, Grant number: 1 R01 HD092655.
We acknowledge, with thanks, the assistance of Muhimbili National Hospital, Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam for help in recruiting the providers and on-site space to conduct the provider focus groups.
© 2021, The Author(s).
- Health care provider
- Key population
- Sexual health
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Case Reports
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural