Undergraduate Students’ Knowledge and Practice of Gonorrhea and other Sexually Transmitted Infections
Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health issue. Adolescents and youth (15-24 years) are the age groups at the greater risk for acquiring them. Also a large percentage of new STIs occur in this age group with 7000 young people worldwide acquiring the
infection every day. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are poorly recognized and inadequately treated in Nigeria despite the fact that they constitute a major risk factor for sexual transmission of HIV infection. The shortage of trained human resources is among the most important obstacles to strengthening health systems in low-income countries.
Objective: This study is to document the knowledge and practice of undergraduate students about gonorrhoea and other STIs as a baseline survey for future intervention work.
Methods: It was a questionnaire-based, cross sectional descriptive study of the knowledge and practice of STIs among students in the seven public tertiary academic institutions in Lagos State using list obtained from the
Lagos State Ministry of Education. Thirty (30) students who agreed to be surveyed were conveniently selected from each school. Pre-tested, semi-structured, validated questionnaires were administered and collected back. Data was entered into Microsoft Excel and analysed using EPI Info, SPSS version 15 and Microsoft Excel. Results were considered to be statistically significant if p < 0.05.
Results: Majority of the respondents were of the 21 - 25 year age range (48%) and were mainly single (95%), Christian (61%) and Yoruba (81%). About 51% of the respondents had at least good knowledge of gonorrhoea
and other STIs. Knowledge about symptoms and transmission was higher than knowledge of prevention, consequences and drugs. Among those that are sexually active 24% do not use condom while 10% reuse condom.
Use of both modern and traditional medical practitioners (TMP) was documented among the students.
Conclusions: Awareness programs with key messages about gonorrhoea and other STIs should be developed and circulated widely in tertiary institutions in the state to improve students' practice. Also strategies to embrace TMP for STI management should be evolved.
Key Words: Gonorrhea, Undergraduate Students, STIs, Knowledge, Practice.