Efficacy of Social Media in Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Information by Youth in Mathare Sub-County, Nairobi: A Case of AMREF Programme


Kevin Ochieng
Antony Odek
John Kanja


Social media has recently emerged as an increasingly powerful health promotion platform that is capable of helping in the dissemination of health information. Despite this, research remains limited on its usefulness and practical applications in SRH interventions. This study explored the efficacy of social media in the access to SRH information among youth in Mathare area of Nairobi using a case study of Y-ACT programme being implemented by AMREF in Kenya. It was guided by the following objectives: to analyze the general patterns of social media usage, assess the sources of SRH information sought and accessed, determine the types of SRH information accessed, and examine barriers faced in accessing SRH information on social media.The study employed a descriptive survey study design which adopted stratified and simple random sampling techniques in the selection of the youth, group leaders and officials from Y-ACT programme.  Descriptive statistics was applied to analyse quantitative data. This data was scored by calculating percentages using Microsoft Excel software. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data and presenting emerging thematic patterns. The study revealed that social media is an increasingly popular channel of communication particularly among the youth. Top social media platforms for accessing SRH information in order of popularity were Google, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook. Telegram was least popular. Top sources of SRH information on these platforms were health practitioners, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and peers, with family planning most sought type of SRH information. Prevalent barriers to accessing SRH information on social media were related to shame and embarrassment, privacy concerns and information overload. The study concluded that there are complex ways in which the youth use and access SRH information on social media, implying limitations for simplistic, traditional one-way sexual health messaging. It recommended that SRH promotion on social media be tailor-made to specific platforms depending on popularity, information sources and use and gratification types, while being cognizant of the challenges across respective platforms.


How to Cite
Ochieng, K. ., Odek, A. ., & Kanja, J. . (2024). Efficacy of Social Media in Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Information by Youth in Mathare Sub-County, Nairobi: A Case of AMREF Programme. African Multidisciplinary Journal of Research, 1(1), 248–260. Retrieved from https://www.journals.spu.ac.ke/index.php/amjr/article/view/276