Vulnerability to Reproductive Health Risks among On-street Women in Shashemene Town, West Arsi Zone, Ethiopia
Researches reveal that women living on the streets are less likely to benefit from basic reproductive health services as living in the poorest segment of the society. The present research was meant to assess vulnerability to reproductive health risks among onstreet women in Shashemene town. A cross-sectional study which involves both quantitative and qualitative design was used. A total of 163 on-street women, selected on the basis of purposive sampling procedure, have participated in the study. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected using survey, non-participant observation and in-depth interview methods. While quantifiable data were entered into SPSS version 20 for further descriptive and inferential analysis, qualitative data were transcribed, organized, and narrated based on recurring themes in the data. The prevalence of rape and abortion was found to be low (11.5% & 9.45%, respectively). Awareness about HIV/AIDS and its way of transmission is very high, with a fascinating experience of undergoing voluntary testing and counseling. Correlation statistics have shown that patterns of undertaking voluntary testing and counseling was significantly associated to marital status (.186,P<0.05), educational status (-.183, P<0.05), and the number of children a woman gave birth to (.204,P<0.05). In relation to shelter and their overall living conditions, on-street women in the study area were found to be highly vulnerable to reproductive health risks. Hence, psychosocial support, including the provision of reproductive health services to the target group, deserves a serious attention.
Keywords: Abortion; HIV/AIDS; On-street women; Reproductive health; Risk