Street youths: reproductive health risk status, reproductive health challenges and barriers to health services utilization in a southwestern City, Nigeria
Background Information: According to the United Nations, about 150 million youth spent most of their time on the street, or better still, homeless. This is becoming a global phenomenon and majority of this vulnerable people live in large cities and urban areas of developing countries. Street youths are among the high risk, insecure and vulnerable groups who are often exposed to various forms of abuses and diseases, including reproductive health issues.
Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study carried out among street youths in Ikorodu Local Government, Lagos State using a multi staged sampling technique. Frequency tables were drawn at the univariate level, chi squared was used to test for
association between socio-demographic characteristics and sexual risk level. Data was analyzed using SPPSS version 22, p value was set at 0.05
Results: Almost half 48(48.5%) of the respondents were between the age range 20-24years and two third 61(61.6%) of them were female and 27(27.3%) had up to senior secondary education attainments. Majority 73(73.7%) of them have been on the street for more than 3months and 32 (32.3%) professed that the reason they were on the street was to search for job while 25 (25.3%) because of family disharmony among parents. Eighty six (86.9%) of the respondents were sexually active, 31 (36.0%) of which have more than four sexual partners. Duration of stay on the street and their educational status were determinants of risky sexual behavior and polygamous setting was found to be statistically significant(p value =0.035) with reproductive health
Conclusion: There is high risk sexual practice among street youths in Ikorodu Local Government. Strategic interventions aimed at minimizing sexual risky behaviors among street youths should focus on reducing the duration of stay on the street as
well as increasing access to contraception.
Keywords: Street; youths; reproductive health; Ikorodu.
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