Health services in Iraq - A cross-sectional survey of adolescents in Basra

(1) Al-Mutamaizeen Secondary School for Boys, Basra, Iraq, (2) Al-Elaf Distinguish Secondary School for Girls, Basra, Iraq, (3) University of Basra, Basra, Iraq
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Adolescence is a transition phase from a child into an adult. Adolescents face many problems, including psychological, health, and economic problems. In some developing countries such as Iraq, adolescents face several barriers to obtaining the health services they need. We performed a cross-sectional survey of adolescents in Basra, the second-largest city in Iraq, from November 2020 to March 2021 to collect data from respondents to obtain information about the types of adolescent problems, the individuals and institutions adolescents turn to, and the role of public health centers in dealing with their problems. We randomly selected study participants from high school students and non-students between the ages of 12 and 18 years of both sexes. The sample size was 100 people, who were divided according to gender and educational level into 4 groups. We found through the study that psychological problems represent the largest proportion of health problems, and most adolescents turn to their parents to discuss their problems. Our study revealed that the number of working non-students is more than double the number of working students in this survey, and poverty was the main reason for work. Our results also showed that a quarter of the participants were below average, most of them non-students, and 28% of adolescents were dissatisfied with the efficiency and adequacy of the health services provided (half of them are non-students). Our study indicated that there is an urgent need to pay attention to public health centers and provide health and psychological support to adolescents.

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