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African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Contraceptive Use: Knowledge, Perceptions and Attitudes of Refugee Youths in Oru Refugee Camp, Nigeria

K Okanlawon, M Reeves, OF Agbaje

Abstract


Refugee youths are vulnerable persons who have a need for contraception, yet face challenges that limit its use. Data on perceptions, knowledge, access and attitudes toward contraceptive use were collected from
208 refugee youths living in Oru refugee camp, Nigeria. Findings revealed that respondents experience difficulty gaining access to family planning services, which are not available in the camp. Most respondents
had little correct information about contraceptives; 42.9% had misperceptions about its safety, believing that contraceptives are dangerous and that chemicals in contraceptives can damage their reproductive system. Such beliefs have resulted in the low use of contraceptives (31.6% use last sex) and many unintended pregnancies, which have caused some refugee girls to drop out of school. Findings may aid in the development of targeted interventions to educate refugee youths in order to dispel misperceptions about the safety of contraceptives and ensure adequate access to family planning services (Afr J Reprod Health 2010; 14[4]: 17-26).



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