Health Problems and Service Preference of School Adolescents in Addis Ababa With Emphasis on Reproductive Health

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Addis Abeba Universty


A cross-sectional descriptive survey to assess adolescents health related problems and service utilization pattern and preferences was conducted from January to December 2000 in randomly selected school adolescents in Addis Ababa. Data were collected using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. A total of 2647 high school students from 13 schools participated in the study. Of theses 1177(44.5%) were males and 1470(55.5%) were females. Five hundred fifty eight (21.9%) adolescent reported to be sexually active. Condom use during the last intercourse among the sexually active was 72.9%. Forty-four (7.9%) of the sexually active adolescents claimed to have had symptoms of STD in the past three months. Among the sexually active female, 32 (5 .7%) claimed to have been pregnant out of which 22 (68.8%) ended up in abortion. Overall 1045 (39.5%) of the students reported the use of at least one of the substa nces (alcohol, cigarette, kaht or cannabis); 1229(51.6%) had mental distress, and 284(10.9%) had attempted suicide in the past. Seven hundred eighty three (32. 3%),523(24.5%) and 610(25.9%) of the adolescents claimed that the existing reproductive health services are inaccessible, unaffordable or unacceptable respectively for adolescents. For 1852(72.0%) of the adolescents feeling of embarrassment at seeking reproductive health service was the reason for not utilizing existing service while 1738 (67.8%) claimed it was for fear of being seen by parents or others. The majority 1402 (57.0%) claimed that service fees are unaffordable for adolescents. Five hundred fifty two (21.6%) preferred to have ARHS with in the existing system but with special approch to adolescents by service providers, while 1070(41 .9%) in separate setting outside of the existing service including youth centers. It was concluded that adolescents have specific health problems, risk taking and care seeking behavior that have not been well addressed by the existing health services. Hence recommended that organizing youth friendly RHS be given an urgent attention by decision makers, public health planners and health care providers at all levels. VI I



Health Problems and Service Preference of School Adolescents