Awareness and Practice of Emergency Contraception Among Students of University of Port Harcourt, South-South Nigeria
Background: The awareness and utilization of contraceptives especially emergency contraceptives (EC) among youths and others in the reproductive age group is an important step in preventing unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of emergency contraception among undergraduate university students.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 240 randomly selected undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, South- South Nigeria, in July 2006. Information sought included their sociodemographic characteristics, awareness, perception and use of emergency contraception.
Results: Two hundred and forty questionnaires were distributed, while 225 were appropriately filled and retrieved giving a response rate of 93.8%. The age of the respondents ranged between 16 to 40 years, with a mean age of 23.2 years. Up to 86.3% of the respondents were sexually active. One hundred and thirty (57.7%) had knowledge of EC, while only 30 (13.3%) had ever used EC. Of the respondents who were aware of EC the most common sources of information on EC were friends in 54(41.2%) and hospital personnel/clinics in 51 (39.2%).
Conclusion: The awareness and use of emergency contraception among students of University of Port Harcourt, South- South Nigeria, is unacceptably low. There is therefore an urgent need to improve the student's knowledge and use of EC through education and enlightenment of this vulnerable group in our environment.
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