A Cross Sectional Study on Knowledge Attitude and Practice of Healthy Reproductive Habits and Contraceptive Use among University Students in Nairobi
Wanga, Christopher H.O.
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A cross-sectional study to test the knowledge attitude and practice of healthy reproductive is, including contraceptive use was conducted among undergraduate students in three universities based in Nairobi. The study was conducted between February 1999 and July 1999.A total of 705 students were interviewed in the study,-341 from Kenyatta University (KU),-198 from Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) and-166 from United States International University (USIU).A pre-tested questionnaire was administered to willing students and focus group discussions were held. Although most interviewees (above 60 %) preferred parents to be their source of Information on reproductive health matters, parents actually contributed only 5 % of the information sought by youths. The principal sources of information on contraception and reproduction included books, magazines, television and peers contributing over 75 % information on sexuality. The respondents were sexually active (over 70 %) with males average age at first sexual intercourse being 15.1 years and females 18.9 years.Knowledge of fecund period was 14 % while that of sperm ache was 75 % taken as indicators of reproductive physiology.Respondents' knowledge of reproductive anatomy was very high with upto 80 % identifying the main parts of the female reproductive tract. Their knowledge of contraceptives was high ranging from 65 % in a department in USIU upto 95 % in a department of KU.Contraceptive use was relatively high among the students who had regular sexual partners ranging from 70.4 % in KU to 93.2 % in USIU.The students' knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) especially Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) was high with more than 80 % being able to identify the major STIs. There is, therefore, need to initiate and organize special health services in our health programmes geared towards the youths including antenatal care ,contraceptive advice and other needed medical care. The results will be used by policy makers and other interested parties in formulating policies and have teaching materials about healthy sexuality in youths from their adolescence to maturity.