Relationship between Access to Reproductive Health Information and Risky Sexual Behaviours among Secondary School Adolescents in Kiambu County, Kenya
Mureithi, Peris Murugi
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Reproductive health information is critical to adolescents in empowering them make sexual and reproductive health decisions. Studies have shown that adolescents in secondary schools lack adequate, accurate and age appropriate reproductive health information; though faced with unique sexual and reproductive health needs, making them vulnerable to risky sexual activities and behaviours. The study aimed to determine the relationship between access to reproductive health information and risky sexual behaviours among secondary school adolescents in Kiambu County, Kenya. Specifically, the study assessed the level of awareness, sources of reproductive health information, adolescent perception on reproductive health information and influence of social cultural factors on access to reproductive health information, in relation to risky sexual behaviour. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The study targeted 7002 adolescent students from all the 13 public secondary schools in Thika West Sub-County. The following schools were selected: Chania Girls’ Boarding School; Chania Boys’ Boarding School and Broadway mixed day school with an accessible population of 2047 students. Fisher’s formula was used to arrive at 364 respondents of which 10% was added to cater for attrition, giving a sample of 400. Stratified sampling technique was adopted in selecting participating schools; to allocate the sample in the respective strata. The study sampled 400-students, and their guidance and counselling teachers as the key informants. The Researcher administered questionnaires, interview schedules (KII) and focus group discussion guides (FGD) were used in data collection. Descriptive statistics included mean, mode and percentages, while for inferential statistics chi square and binary logistic regression was applied. A p value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The findings from the chi square relationship revealed that the risky sexual behaviour was low at 44.7% as indicated by the students who had had sexual relationships. The study found that there is less likelihood of risky sexual behaviour (by 0.571 times and by 0.349 times) for those students who received information from teachers, school counsellors and parents respectively. The relationship was found to be significant represented by a p value of 0.001. The findings also revealed that there is less likelihood of risky sexual behaviour (by 0.626 times, 0.648 times and by 0.629 times) for students who listened to information, on contraceptives, safe sex and STIs respectively. This relationship was found to be significant represented by a( p value of 0.020, 0.003 and 0.019) respectively. The study found that there is less likelihood of risky sexual behaviour (by 0.2012 times, by 0.591 times, by 0.6211 times and by 0.359 times) for those students who found reproductive health information easily available, very useful, and easy to understand and apply respectively. The conclusion of the study was that access to reproductive health information among adolescents in Thika sub-county was statistically significant in relation to risky sexual behaviours. The study recommends that adolescents should be equipped with adequate age appropriate reproductive health information as early as possible, and consistently made accessible throughout their lives to enable them in make sound sexual and reproductive health decisions thus reducing risky sexual behaviour.