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Utilization of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Ethiopia--does it affect sexual activity among high school students?

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services for adolescents was added as a target to the revised Millennium Development Goals framework in 2005. However, the utilization of SRH services among adolescents and their sexual activity is not well explored in Ethiopia, with the result that there is no well-designed and sustainable school based intervention for high school students. We aimed to investigate the utilization of sexual and reproductive health services and sexual activity and, to provide evidence based information and recommendations for possible interventions. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 1031 female and male high school students aged 14-19 years in Mekelle town, Tigray Region, North Ethiopia. A total of 1031 students participated. Self-administered questionnaire was used. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Utilization of sexual and reproductive health services and sexual activity were investigated using a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: One out of five students had used the SRH services in the past year. The primary reason for visiting the SRH services was to receive information. The mean age for the first sexual intercourse was 15.7 and one-quarter of the students had multiple sexual partners. Unwanted pregnancies and abortions were reported by female students. CONCLUSION: SRH services are known and used by students. However, sexual activity at an early age among high school students and unwanted pregnancies and abortions among female students still call for attention. Therefore, providing accurate SRH information on safe sex and enhancing family-student discussion could be a good approach to reach SRH of adolescents.

    Research areas

  • Sexual and reproductive health service, Sexual activity, Parental monitoring, Parent-child communication, TRENDS
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalSexual & Reproductive Healthcare
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015