Knowledge and Perception of Ghanaian Adolescents about Family Planning

Konlan Kennedy Dodam, Abdul-Raheem Mohammed, Adabara Helen Eneye, PrinceAppiah Yeboah

Abstract


Background: Adoption and utilization of family planning services have been evidenced to be useful in preventing sexually transmitted infections, reducing unintended pregnancies, reducing maternal and child mortality and this serves as a key means to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite these enormous benefits, the use of family planning methods still remain preponderantly low among citizens of developing countries. In Ghana, there have been alarming media reports and also reports from the Ghana Health Service of higher rates of unintended pregnancies, criminal abortions, unhealthy sexual behaviors such as low contraceptive usage among adolescents and a paradox of stagnation in continuity of formal education due to the negative consequences of risky sexual behaviors. This study was designed to look critically into adolescents’ perception and knowledge about family planning so as to provide baseline data to guide in interventions towards improving contraceptive use.

Aim:- The aim of the study was to determine knowledge and perception of adolescents about family planning.

Method:- A cross-sectional design was used for this study. A purposive non-probability method of sampling was used to recruit 150 adolescents of both genders who were schooling in Ayawaso-central district of the Accra Metropolis. A structured questionnaire containing open ended questions, closed ended questions and rating scales was used as the tool for collecting data from respondents.

Results:- Findings from this study revealed that about 67% of participants were aware of family planning but only 10% of them had in-depth knowledge about family planning. Although awareness level was high among the participants, myths about family planning existed. Also, 60% of respondents perceived family planning usage as not important in adolescence even though 27% claim to be sexually active.

 Conclusion: Our findings suggest that there is a high level of awareness but low in-depth knowledge about family planning among adolescents in the area. The adolescents also associated myths and negative perceptions to family planning usage. There is therefore a need for in-depth education on family planning and not just awareness creation. We therefore recommend the setting up of adolescent sexual and family planning clubs in Junior High Schools to serve as channels for providing in-depth education to pupils.


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