STIRF had agreed to fund a project by Steve Wordsworh and colleagues from the Faculty of Health, Birmingham City University investigating the reasons why Somali refugees appear not to access sexual heaalth services. Below is a brief description of the propsed project:
In the United Kingdom there is an established and growing refugee population that have arrived from Somalia. Despite this, the Somali population are often not included in ‘official’ statistics largely because the community is rarely recognised as a distinct ethnic category.
Because of this we often unaware of the health or social needs of those who arrive in the UK from a Somalia background, therefore it is inevitable that the support and needs of this community is often sadly neglected. So despite a very real need for help and support the uptake of health services is very low.
We are particular concerned with low access to sexual health service from of our local Somali community in Birmingham. So building on expertise in both working with the Somali community and in sexual health, staff from BCU are planning to undertake a study that seeks to explore just what exactly are the sexual health needs of Somali refugees, importantly we will be seeking to gather their views and perspectives directly from the community itself, we aim to found out what they know about sexual health services, the challenges that may prevent them taking up these services and how services could be adapted to best support their needs.
Furthermore, it is our intention that that results from this research can be used to inform service provision by identifying barriers to access and any opportunities that may help to overcome them.