The high rate of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges among adolescents in Nigeria has been linked with the poor access to and utilisation of health facilities. This study explores the factors that influence the actual use and willingness to use SRH services among adolescents. Survey questionnaires were administered to 428 adolescents aged 18 to 19 years in six local government areas (LGAs) in Plateau State. The results showed that more than one-third of the participating adolescents were currently sexually active, slightly more than three-quarters (76.6%) had never visited health facilities for SRH issues, and more than half (56.0%) were not willing to visit a health facility if they ever had any SRH issues. The most frequent reason for the non-use of health care facilities for SRH issues by adolescents was a perceived lack of privacy and confidentiality (66.1%), followed by the perceived negative attitude of health care providers (68.2%). However, being sexually active was the only independent covariate of seeking SRH care from health facility (AOR = 005; CI = 0.01-0.49; p = 0.011), while awareness of HIV was a significant covariate of willingness to seek SRH care in a health facility in the future (AOR = 3.17, 95% CI = 1.50-6.70; p = 0.002). We concluded that the utilisation of SRH services and willingness to do so in the future was fairly limited among adolescents in this study. Therefore, there is a need to address the challenges of privacy and confidentiality and commencement of the health promotion of SRH for adolescents ahead of sexual initiation to alleviate the SRH challenges adolescents encounter when sexually active.
- CONTRACEPTIVE USE
- health-seeking behaviour
- sexual and reproductive health