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ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE, AND PRACTICE TOWARDS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVES AMONG FEMALE COLLEGE STUDENTS AT MEKELLE TOWN, TIGRAY REGION, ETHIOPIA: A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY

Keywords: Emergency contraceptive , Knowledge , Mekelle , College students

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Abstract:

Background: Death related to unintended pregnancy associated events is a series public health concern in Ethiopia. This is very common in young adolescents for whom life is full of adventure and temptation with very little knowledge about the consequences of their reckless activities. Emergency contraceptives are the only method that can be used within short time after sexual intercourse, offering a second chance to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Objectives: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of emergency contraceptives among female college students at Mekelle town, Ethiopia.Methods: An institutional based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 616 female college students at Mekelle town from March to July, 2011. Multistage sampling technique with Probabilities proportional to size was used. Data were analyzed by SPSS window version 16.0 software package and presented using frequencies, percentages. Crude & adjusted odds ratio were used to control the possible confounding variables. Results: Of the total respondents, 393(67.3%) of them replied that they have heard about emergency contraceptives. Among those who have ever heard of emergency contraceptives, 224 (57%) mentioned pills only, 9 (2.3%) mentioned intrauterine contraceptive devices only and 154(39.2%) mentioned both pill & IUCDs. 263(45%) of the respondents were knowledgeable towards ECs, and about 271(46.4%) of the students had positive attitude towards emergency contraceptives. Of the sexually active respondents 70(24.2%) only reported that they had used emergency contraceptive methods previously. Whereas, 219(75.8%) were not used emergency contraceptives; some of the reasons were lack of knowledge about ECs (42.9%); no desire to use (22.8%) and inaccessibility toward emergency contraceptives (16.4%).Conclusion: The study indicated low level of knowledge; very low level of practice and majority showed negative attitude towards emergency contraceptives.

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