Assessing the Knowledge, Use and Perception of Contraceptives among Senior High School Students in the Kumbungu District of Northern Ghana
Asian Journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth,
Background: Senior high school students are faced with several sexual and reproductive health challenges and make decisions and choices based on their knowledge and perceptions of available sexual and reproductive health services. The study, therefore, assessed the knowledge, use, and perception of contraceptives among senior high school students in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region of Ghana.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 299 study participants through a multiple sampling approach comprising purposive, proportionate, and simple random sampling techniques. A pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from the study participants. A descriptive and Pearson’s chi-square analyses were performed.
Results: The prevalence of contraceptive use was 23.2% with 55.9% of the study participants incorrectly defined contraceptives. The major source of information on contraceptives was from their peers (53.3%). Apart from condoms, knowledge on the remaining contraceptives methods was poorly understood by the participants. Common misperceptions on contraceptive use included infertility (50.0%), interference with sexual pleasure (37.9%), and promotion of promiscuity (32.3%). Statistically, we found significant differences between ever users of contraceptives and sex (P< 0.001) and religion (P=0.026). There was a significant difference between knowledge and perception (P=0.010).
Conclusion: The study findings describe a seemly poor knowledge and misconceptions on the use of contraceptives among study participants. This is likely to affect the usage of contraceptives among adolescents and students in the Kumbungu District with a resultant effect on the rise of teenage pregnancies. Addressing the poor knowledge and misconception by stakeholders, including the Ghana Health Services and other NGO’s is therefore recommended.
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