A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Contraception among Secondary School Students in Ekpoma, Nigeria

Abstract:

Background: Adolescent sexual activity, early pregnancy, induced abortion and increased HIV/AIDS infection have become a major concern in Nigeria. Teenage pregnancy is a risk factor for disruption of education, future unemployment and poor mental health. The aim of this study was to assess the level of awareness, attitude and practice of contraception among male and female secondary school students in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria, a fast developing village with increased cases of teenage abortion. Methods: A descriptive study, using a pre-tested, self administered semi-structured questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of contraception among male and female public secondary school students in Ekpoma. The study population consisted of male and female junior secondary III (JS III) and senior secondary III (SS III) school students in Ekpoma aged 12-24 years. In all 1000 male and 1000 female students were recruited for the study. Data obtained were analyzed by sex and age. Results: A total of 690 and 814 questionnaires were returned in good order for males and females respectively. Analysis of data obtained showed that 398 (57.7%) and 216 (26.5%) male and female students respectively were sexually active as at the time of this study. 68 (17.0%) of the male population had their first sexual intercourse at 9 years. Analysis also showed that 292 (42.3%) and 492 (60%) males and females respectively had good knowledge of contraception while 206 (29.9%) and 122 (15%) males and females had no knowledge of contraception. Parents (25.5%), friends (17%), books and magazines (16.2%) and internet (10.7%) were the main sources of information about sex and contraception. Condom was the major available contraceptive for the males while Andrew liver salt (29%), oral pills (10.3%), 7 Up (7.4%) were the used by the females. About 40% of the total sampled population believed contraception is not safe. Conclusion: Awareness and use of contraception among secondary school students in Ekpoma was low. There is a need to educate adolescents about the use of contraception with emphasis on available methods and correct timing of usage.