Awareness study on the availability, prevalence and knowledge in use of contraceptives among female adolescent pupils in Ndola, Zambia
Keywords:Contraceptive, sex, pupils, adolescent, knowledge, prevalence, schools, Zambia
Adolescents in Zambia face numerous sexual and reproductive health risks, stemming from early and unprotected sexual activities. The engagement in these casual sex practices has contributed to high incidences of abortion, unwanted pregnancies and subsequently, a higher numbers of dropouts from school among female adolescents. Key factors underlying with this problem is the paucity of knowledge on sexual education amongst these age groups, coupled with the taboo cultures surrounding the free accessibility and use of contraceptives. The main objectives of this study were: (a) to determine the availability of contraceptives amongst teenagers in schools, (b) the prevalence and preference in contraception use and (c) the extent of knowledge at which contraceptives were known among pupils. To this effect, a cross-sectional study was carried out at Kanini Secondary school in Ndola, Zambia. Using a questionnaires with standard questions featuring over 12 contraceptive methods, data was collected from a total of 110 pupils, aged 13 to 18 who were randomly selected from grades 10 to 12. A statistical package of SPSS for windows, version 20 was used to enter and analyze data. Categories of variables were compared using the Pearson’s Chi-Squared Test and only the significance of p-value < 0.05 were considered. Results on the awareness and prevalence of contraception among teenagers showed that oral contraceptive pills, male and female condoms were highly significant with p-value < 0.000 while injectable and natural contraceptives were only significantly known at p-values 0.010 and 0.002, respectively. Despite the awareness of existing contraceptives however, only 12.7% of respondents had shown interest in using contraception while 87.3% were for the idea of unprotected sex. A further choice of 25 sexually active adolescents from the 110 pupils revealed that the non-use of contraceptives was almost 50 by 50, with 40.0% of pupils found not using contraception each time they had sex. Compounding reasons were that 87.3% of respondents that did not use contraception felt that the practice was weird and bad while only 17.7% of respondents felt that the use of contraception was a good. Worse still, the frequency ratio of unprotected sex was 14:1, between the vulnerable ages of 13 and 15 to 18 year olds. Results of this study represent a general perception among pupils in the urban, peri-urban and rural schools of Ndola district in Zambia.
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