EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVE : POST- SECONDARY SCHOOL FEMALE STUDENTS’ AND SERVICE PROVIDERS’ PERSPECTIVE (THE CASE OF AWASSA TOWN)
AbstractA Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of Addis Ababa University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Population Studies
Since most of the regular methods used before or during sexual intercourse, emergency contraceptives are the only method that can be used within short time after sexual intercourse, offering a second chance to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, its introduction was a welcome addition for the campaign against unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. The ultimate objective of the study is to assess the attitude of female and male post-secondary students and service providers towards emergency contraception in Awassa town. A cross-sectional both quantitative and qualitative survey was conducted on March 2008 among students of Awassa College of Teacher Education and Africa Beza University College Awassa campus; which were randomly selected from non-health science colleges in the town. A survey was conducted through a structured questionnaire among 596 female students of both colleges that were selected proportional to the size of number of female students in the colleges, departments/streams and year of study (batch). Sixteen female and sixteen male students from each college were participants of the four FGDs held on the same time and key informants interview was carried out among seven health care providers working in the selected MCH/FP service outlets in the town. Out of the total 596 female college students 229(38.4%) of them ever had sexual intercourse with mean age 18.24 at their first intercourse and 83.7% had ever used one of the modern contraceptive methods. Out of 212 (35.6%) of the whole respondents who had ever heard about EC, 60.8% knew at least one correct method of EC while only 31.6% correctly identified 72 hours as the time limit for the method use. The summary index for knowledge about EC disclosed that only 17.0% had good knowledge of EC whereas 65.6% had favorable attitude towards EC. The FGDs among male students revealed that male students also lack a specific knowledge of EC. The key informants’ interview among health care providers also ascertained lack of adequate knowledge and experience on EC regimens. There is lack of adequate knowledge of EC among both female and male students and the service providers. Therefore, there is a need to address College students by expanding information and education about EC methods and to build providers capacity through trainings.