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Reproductive Health Knowledge And Practices Among Junior Secondary School Grade One Students In Enugu State: Threat To Achieving Millennium Development Goals In Nigeria
Objective: This was designed to provide background information for the implementation of family life and HIV/AIDS education in post primary schools in the Enugu State. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the reproductive health knowledge and practices of 412 junior secondary school pupils from 12 schools in Enugu State, Nigeria was undertaken using a uniform set of structured self-administered questionnaire. Results: The results revealed that while the pupils demonstrated fair knowledge of human biology, they lacked knowledge of selfprotective mechanisms as it related to sexual health. About (50%) of the participants reported that they have had sex, at the age of less than 11 years when they must have been in the primary school and most (89.3%) at age 11-14 years. Half (50.9%) of the respondents hold the belief that a girl would not get pregnant in her first sexual encounter. Statistically more of those who have ever had sex were betrayed this ignorance (p=0.004). The boys were less certain about what constitutes the wrong ideas about reproductive health systems than the girls (p=0.042). In the same vein, there was a difference (p<0.0001) in the proportion of the rural residents, vis-à-vis their urban counterparts that could correctly identify the wrong ideas about human reproduction.
Conclusion: This situation urgently calls for concerted efforts at addressing the poor reproductive health knowledge of these sexually active young people, for the millennium development goals (MDGs) target to be realized in Nigeria.
Keywords: Family-life-education, Nigeria, Reproductive health behaviour, MDGs
East African Journal of Public Health Vol. 5 (2) 2008: pp. 126-131