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Perception and Practice of Emergency Contraception by Females of Reproductive Age Group in a Tertiary Healthcare Institution in South Eastern Nigeria

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Abstract:

Background: Unsafe abortion continues to contribute significantly to maternal morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Adequate knowledge and correct use of Emergency Contraception (EC) will serve as a backup for regular contraception. This will help to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the consequent unsafe abortion. Objective: This was to determine the knowledge, attitude and use of EC by the females of reproductive age group in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi. The findings will help in making recommendations on the use of EC. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey, using self administered questionnaire among female workers and students in NAUTH, Nnewi aged 15-49 years. Result: A survey of 450 females of reproductive age in NAUTH Nnewi showed that the concept of Emergency Contraception (EC) was well known. The majority of the respondents 330 (73.3%) were aware of emergency contraception. However, only 120(26.7%) had used one form of emergency contraception or the other. Among the various methods of EC mentioned by the users, progesterone only pills (postinor) 60 (50.0%) and combined oral contraceptive pills 30 (25.0%) were the commonest types used by the respondents. Few respondents 25 (20.8%) had misused other form of agents and methods for EC. The respondents reported varying circumstances under which EC was indicated but the majority cited miscalculation of rhythm method, 107 (32.3%) and condom breakage during coitus 76 (22.7%). The most common source of information about EC was from friends, 128 (40.0%) while patent medicine store was the commonest source of procurement 60 (50.0%). Most, 180 (40.0%) of the respondents felt that EC should not be used mainly on religious grounds. Conclusion: The knowledge of EC was high among the females of reproductive age in NAUTH but the utilization was poor. Training and retraining of health workers and public health education in hospitals, schools and religious groups are necessary to develop a positive attitude and correct use of EC.

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