Misconception of emergency contraception among tertiary school students in Akwa Ibom state, South-South, Nigeria
Objective: To assess the degree of awareness and use of emergency contraception among tertiary school students in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
Design: A self-administered questionnaire survey.
Setting: The Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, located on the outskirts of Ikot Ekpene local government area between 1st April 2002 and 31st April 2002.
Subjects: 1,000 randomly selected female students of the Akwa Ibom State polytechnic, Ikot Osurua
Results: The students were aged between 16 and 43 years. Five hundred and eighty-nine (68.5%) of the respondents had heard of products that could be used as emergency contraceptives. However, only 49 (5.7%) of the respondents had practised some form of emergency contraception, which was most commonly practised by those between 16 and 25 years (71.4%). Menstrogen (30.6%), gynaecosid (24.5%), and quinine (14.3%) were the most common medications used for emergency contraception. Patent medicine dealers (40.9%) and friends/course mates (29.7%) were the most common sources of knowledge about emergency contraception.
Conclusion: This study shows that awareness and use of emergency contraception by our youths is low. Community enlightenment about emergency contraception using specifically designed programmes, the formation of reproductive health clubs in our tertiary institutions and training of peer group educators in all our communities are advocated. Patent medicine dealers in our communities should have basic training in modern contraceptive methods and periodic evaluation should be carried out to assess their knowledge and practice of emergency contraception.
Keywords: Emergency contraception; tertiary school students; Akwa Ibom state.(Date accepted 22 April 2006)
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol.10 (1) 2007: pp.30-34