Society of African Journal Editors

Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal

Awareness and Utilization of Emergency Contraceptives Among Second Cycle Primary School Female Evening Students in Hawassa, Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Authors: Alemayehu Adinew, Teferi Gedif Fenta

Journal: Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal

An unintended pregnancy is mistimed or unwanted one. It is significant among adolescents in Ethiopia. Sexual violence is another major health problem because of consequences such as abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and physical and mental trauma, all of which could contribute to the high rate of female drop out from schools. Use of emergency contraception (EC) reduces unintended pregnancies resulted from unprotected sexual intercourse or sexual violence and thus the risks related to it. Disparities in knowledge, access and use of family planning methods have also been observed in the country. This study assessed awareness and utilization of emergency contraceptive among 463 second cycle primary school female evening students (with age ≥ 15 years) in Hawassa using a self-administered questionnaire. Study participants were selected using stratified random sampling technique. To complement the quantitative data, key informant interviews were also held. Quantitative data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Thematic analysis was used for qualitative data. Among the total participants, 120 (25.9%) of them ever had sexual intercourse; of these only 34 (28.3%) have ever heard about EC. Majority 73 (60.8%) of those who ever had sexual intercourse expressed favorable attitude towards EC. However, only 27 (22.5%) had ever used EC. Having prior information on family planning (FP) and school grade level were identified to be positively associated [(AOR = 1.9 (1.0 - 3.4), (AOR = 2.1 (1.1 - 4.1)] with awareness about EC. Utilization of EC was found to be positively associated with knowledge about EC, AOR = 89.3 (10.8 - 737.3). Awareness and utilization of EC among primary second cycle female evening students was found to be low. In addition, exposure to FP information, grade level, marital status, knowledge about EC, and prior sexual intercourse experience were identified to be determinants of awareness and utilization of EC. Therefore awareness creation among this target group should be the priority areas of action. Keywords : emergency contraceptive, knowledge and practice, second cycle primary school evening students, Hawassa, Ethiopia