Reaching Rural Communities through ‘Healthy Entrepreneurs’: A Cross-Sectional Exploration of Community Health Entrepreneurship’s Role in Sexual and Reproductive Health
Borst, Robert AJ
Kok, Maarten Olivier
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The purpose of the current study was to explore the association between community health entrepreneurship and the sexual and reproductive health status of rural households in West-Uganda. We collected data using digital surveys in a cluster-randomized cross-sectional cohort study. The sample entailed 1211 household members from 25 randomly selected villages within two subcounties, of a rural West-Ugandan district. The association between five validated sexual and reproductive health outcome indicators and exposure to community health entrepreneurship was assessed using wealth-adjusted mixed-effects logistic regression models. We observed that households living in an area where community health entrepreneurs were active reported more often to use at least one modern contraceptive method [odds ratios (OR): 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.10] had more knowledge of modern contraceptive methods (OR: 7.75, 95% CI: 2.81–21.34), knew more sexually transmitted infections (OR: 1.86, 95% CI: 1.14–3.05), and mentioned more symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (OR: 1.83, 95% CI: 1.18–2.85). The association between exposure to community health entrepreneurship and communities’ comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS was more ambiguous (OR: 1.27, 95% CI: 0.97–1.67). To conclude, households living in areas where community health entrepreneurs were active had higher odds on using modern contraceptives and had more knowledge of modern contraceptive methods, sexually transmitted infections and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. This study provides the first evidence supporting the role of community health entrepreneurship in providing rural communities with sexual and reproductive health care.
- Medical and Health Sciences 
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