Contraceptive Knowledge, Perceptions and Use among Adolescents in Selected Senior High Schools in the Central Region of Ghana
Background: Teenage pregnancies, human immuno deficiency virus and other sexually transmitted diseases infection, are an important public health issue because they are associated with maternal, fetal, neonatal and other adverse outcomes. Adolescent girls who get pregnant are likely to drop out from school and adolescent parents are unlikely to have the social and economic means to raise children.
Objective: The study was conducted to assess contraceptive knowledge, perceptions and use among adolescents in selected Senior High Schools in the Central Region of Ghana.
Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out in the Cosmopolitan city of Cape Coast of the Central Region of Ghana. Three mixed, one female and one male senior high school were conveniently identified for the study. A self-administered questionnaire was given to 350 students in the schools out of which 300 were retrieved and used, representing a response rate of 85.7%. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) programme software (version 15.0) was used for data entry, and descriptive statistics tests were conducted for the items which were summarised by frequencies and percentages.
Results: Results showed that almost 21% of 244 students with knowledge of contraception are users, 82% of sexually active respondents were non-users while condom is the most common contraceptive method used. Also, 60% and 30% of respondents obtained knowledge about contraception from the media (TV/Radio) and peers (friends) respectively. However, almost 32% of the study participants thought contraceptives are for only adult married persons.
Conclusion: We believe that there is a need for aggressive advocacy and dissemination of information on Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) and family planning methods before initiation of sexual activity among the adolescent population in Ghana.
Key words: Ghana, Contraceptive knowledge, perceptions, sexual behaviour, adolescent
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