Emergency Contraception: Post-Secondary School Female Students and Service Providers' Perspective (The Case of Awassa Town)

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Addis Ababa University


Since most of the regular methods used before or during sexual intercourse, emergency contraceptives are the only method that can be used within short time ajier sexual intercourse, offering a second chance to prevent unwanted pregnancy Therefore, its introduction was a welcome addition for the campaign against unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. The ultimate objective of the study is to assess the al/itude of female and male post-secondary students and service providers tawards emergency contraception in Awassa town. A cross-sectional both quantitative and qualitative survey was conducted on March 2008 among students of Awassa College of Teacher Education and Africa Beza University College Awassa campus; which were randomly selected from non-health science colleges in the town. A survey was conducted through a structured queslionnaire among 596 female sludents of bOlh colleges that were selected proportional 10 Ihe size of number of female sl!ldents in the colleges, departmentdstreams and year of study (batch). Sixteen female and sixteen male sludents ji-om each college were participants of the four FGDs held on the same time and key informants interview was carried out among seven health care providers working in Ihe selected MCHIFP service outlets in Ihe town. Out of the total 596female college students 229(38.4%} of them ever had sexual intercourse wilh mean age 18.24 at their first intercourse and 83.7% had ever used one of the modern contraceptive methods. Out of 21 2 (35.6%) of the whole respondents who had ever heard about EC, 60.8% knew at least one correct method of EC while only 31.6% correctly idenlified 72 hours as the time limit for the method use. The summmy indexfor knowledge about EC disclosed that only 17.0% had good knowledge of EC whereas 65.6% had favorable al/i/ude lowards EC. The FGDs among male students revealed Ihat male studenls also lack a specific knowledge of EC. The key informmlls' inlerview among health care providers also ascerlained lack of adequate knowledge and experience on EC regimens. There is lack of adequate knowledge of EC among both female and male students and the service providers. Therefore, there is a need to address College students by expanding information and education about EC methods and to build providers capacity through trainings.



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