Family Planning Needs of Adolescents in Predominantly Rural Communities in the Central Part of Ghana
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Author(s): Enuameh Y, Tawiah C, Afari-Asiedu S, Nettey OEA, Sulemana A, Mahama E, Adjei G, Boamah E, Manu A, Gyaase S, Zandoh C, Amanfo N, Asante KP, Letsa T, Owusu-Agyei S
The article presents findings of a descriptive analysis of data from a cross-sectional study of adolescents aimed at identifying their family planning needs and the best approaches to addressing them in the Kintampo Districts of Ghana. Data for the analysis, supported by MEASURE Evaluation, were drawn from the family planning module of a sexual and reproductive health survey carried out by the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System in 2011. Adolescents in this study experienced high marital (1.6% of females and 0.4% of males) and pregnancy rates (11.5% of females and 1.5% of males). Their knowledge of contraceptive methods was high (87.7% of females and 82% of males), but utilization of contraception was low (17.9% of females and 6% of males). Most study participants viewed family planning as important to their health and wellbeing (59.6% or females and of 58.6% males). A minority of adolescents perceived that contraceptive use was solely the responsibility of women (41.1% of females and 32.4% of males); and that the use of contraceptives could lead to promiscuity among women (43.8% of females and 42.5% of males). Those adolescents who previously had unwanted pregnancies reported that they would have accepted some help in preventing it (33.1% of females and 9.1% of males).
Recommendations made by respondents included creating a friendly atmosphere for adolescents by those providing family planning services. Other suggestions were ensuring that family planning services are available and accessible to adolescents, and educating adolescents on the diverse methods available.
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