Contraceptive Use Among Female Adolescent in EBSU Ishieke Campus and the Implication on the Reproductive Health of Women in Nigeria
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Adolescents are sexually active just, like the adults in any stage of development. As their hormone levels surge and they begin grappling with adult roles and expectations about sexual behaviour, many become sexually active.
According to the journal of marriages and families Lisa and Calhoun (2001) stated that adolescents are becoming sexually active and the number of sexual partners being taken is also steadily increasing (crews,2001).
Over the years, the issue of family planning, prevention of unwanted pregnancies and several deadly sexually transmitted disease among adolescents, has been one of the major problems our country, Nigeria, has been trying to tackle.
The nation has been faced with problems of over population and high mortality rates among adolescents which constituted majority of the able bodied and independents population of the nation (Fulladu,1999).
Sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS, Abortion and frequent births have led to the death of many adolescent female and this problem is threatening the socio-economic stability of the country.
Several solutions to these problems have been propounded by the WHO and one of these solutions is the introduction of family planning programmes and the use of contraceptives and prevention methods. This programmes has to a large extent tried to reduce unpleasant incidence of STDS, unwanted pregnancies, etc. but one of the most important challenges facing family planning programmes world wide is addressing the need for adolescent women to engage in the use of contraceptives as they initiate sexual activities (Blanc and Way 1998).
In Nigeria, majority of these young women have little or no knowledge about contraceptives. Parents and guardians do not discuss the issue of sex and contraceptives use with their adolescent females, generally, due to their young customs and beliefs that a young woman is not supposed to engage in any sexual activity until she is married, so they find it unethical to discuss issues with them.
But due to civilization and urbanization, these norms and values are no longer seen as important among adolescents, as a matter of fact, premarital sexual relationship is now in vogue. Most adolescent women engage in active sexual activities without having any knowledge on how to prevent the various problems that come with sexual intercourse (Atkin and Grbble 1991).
Family planning programmes have tried in several ways through advertisement, television programmes, radio programmes etc. to inform and educate young women, parents and guardians on the need for contraceptives use among our adolescents females.
Inspite of the various campaigns on the important of contraceptives use, many adolescent women still find it very difficult to use these contraceptives or even seek more information about it before use, mainly because of the society’s beliefs and values which is in constant conflict with the adolescent need to follow the crowd.
In view of these circumstances and other problems related with that non-use and lack of the knowledge of contraceptives, this study shall attempt to study how the knowledge and use of contraceptives have affected the health of women in the Nigerian society.
- STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
To most adolescent women. The word contraceptives conjures up strange interpretation and fears. Fear, that if used, contraceptives would cause infertility, could make them have deformed children, can produce damaging affects, makes intercourse less interesting, but not understanding that to take pills is a serious risk.
The interpretation can be understandable, when one realizes that in Nigerian culture, the quality and quantity of children determines a woman’s solid status. Thus, the culture of Nigerian societies tends to give rise to significant barriers to contraceptives use among adolescent females now face. These barriers includes lack of information about methods and types of contraceptives, difficulties in obtaining services from providers influenced by cultural norms, prohibiting use among adolescent females, concerns about side effect and inability to negotiate with partners.
Consequently these barriers have been causing health hazards among our young females for example frequent abortion which has led to cases of permanent infertility, transmission of STD and over population (Pickde Weiss and Palos 1991).
The problems of religion also comes into play in this context. Most religious bodies especially the Catholic Church Preach against the use of modern and unnatural contraceptives methods, they preach that it
is a sin against God to interfere with the course of procreation, thus discouraging the members which includes young females against the use of contraceptives (Godscheider &Mosher 1991)
Another barrier facing the use of contraceptives among females is the coat these contraceptives. Most young women are still very dependent on their parents and guardians and most times cannot afford these contraceptives. For examples a girl that has a monthly income of N 1000 cannot afford to spend N 500 on contraceptives or go for the cheap and less effectiveness.
Also adolescents are also faced with the problems of privacy. Most of the health clinics that distribute these contraceptives, are usually visited by older married women whom may look at these young unmarried adolescents as immoral, so there is always a tendency for these young females in indulging in self medications which can lead to serious health hazards like continuous bleeding and hormonal inbalance.
These problems cannot be solved without an indepth study of the society’s cultural and religious beliefs, so that the people will not feel threatened with the introduction of contraceptives in their society.
The present study in this designed to isolate the most important issues that relate to the use of contraceptives among female students in EBSU.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the level of knowledge of contraceptives use among female students?
- How are these knowledge acquired?
- What are the myths and rumors about these contraceptives?
- What are the main barriers affecting the use of contraceptives?
- What are the various types of contraceptives in existence?
- How available are these contraceptives/
- How effective are the various types of contraceptives?
- What are their side effects?
- How much income goes into the purchase of these contraceptives?
- How has contraceptives use contributed to the health of young female users?
- How has the use of contraceptives contributed generally to the health of Nigerian women?
- Who influences the decision adolescent make on contraceptive use; to what extent do they influence these decisions?
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to analyze some of the social problems hindering the use and knowledge of contraceptives among females in our society. The specific objectives of this study are to:
- Determine the level of knowledge of contraceptives among young females.
- Determine the reasons for the negative attitude of young women towards contraceptives
- Determine the most popular kind of contraceptives use among young females and the reasons for its popularity.
- Determine the availability and mode of distribution of these contraceptives and hw it affects contraceptives use and behaviour of young women.
- Determine how some agents of socialization for example, family, peer group, media etc. affect the contraceptives use.
- Finally to determine how the knowledge and use of these contraceptives have contributed to the improvement of the health of women in Nigeria.
- SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The use of contraceptives has been suggested as one of the ways of solving most of the reproductive health problems and diseases, especially the ones that are sexually transmitted and also the problems of over-population in our nation.
This study will help the government in population and disease control which in turn will go a long way to ensure socio-economic stability of young women in our society.
It will also help health workers in tackling the social problems facing contraceptive use among women.
This study will help, enlighten readers of this piece of work about the need for contraceptives in order to put away fears, negative myths and rumors about these contraceptives.
It will also serve as an addition to previously existing literatures on contraceptives use thus going a long way to supplement the efforts of other people that had made research studies on contraceptives use and knowledge among adolescents women and its implications on the reproductive health of women generally.
- STUDY HYPOTHESIS
As regards the subject on the study the following are the hypothesis drawn,
- Parent’s attitudes towards sexual intercourse before marriage vary directly with contraceptive use among adolescent female.
- Those who discuss contraceptives with their friends use contraceptives more than those who do not.
- Those with higher levels of education are more aware of contraceptives than those with lower level of education
- Those with urban background tends to use modern contraceptives more than those with rural background
- DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
CONTRACEPTIVE: Any of the various devices or drugs which are used to prevent pregnancy.
NFA(National Family Planning): This involves reducing the chance of becoming pregnant by planning sex around the most fertile and infertile times during the woman’s monthly cycle.
ADOLESCENTS: young unmarried woman between the stages of childhood and adulthood; between the age of 16-24 years.
ABORTION: Termination of Pregnancy. i.e the deliberate ending of pregnancy at an early stage.
STD: Sexually Transmitted Diseases i.e diseases that are being contacted as a result of sexual intercourse. Examples HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, etc.
WHO: World Health Organisation i.e an organisation that was planned to look into the health affairs of African countries.
HIV/AIDS: Human Immune Deficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a virus which infacts the body and causes the natural Immune system to breakdown.
IUCD or Coil (The intra-uterine contraceptive device-or Coil): Is a small plastic and coppe device, which is fitted into the womb (uterus) by a Doctor or Nurse. It is designated to prevent the sperm meeting the egg and may stop an egg more down the fallopian tube more slowly and stop an egg settling in the womb.
CONDOMS: A thin Cap rubber covering that a man wear on his pennies during sex to prevent a woman from getting pregnant or to protect the man or his partner against infectious diseases.
DIAPHRAM: A thin cap or piece of material which is stretched across the opening of the cervix. The woman wears it either before sexual intercourse or throughout the day worn all day.
PILLS: Piece of tablets a woman take regularly in order to prevent her from getting pregnant.
PPFN: Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria. They are organisation that is in charge of rendering contraceptives services to young female and the community as whole.
- THE STUDY AREA
The area to be covered in this study is Ebonyi State University Ishieke Annex.
Ebonyi State was created in from Enugu and Abia State on 1st October 1996. as a result, the Abakaliki Campus of ESUT became Ebonyi State University College (EBSUC). The college was established by Ebonyi State of Nigeria Edict No. 5 of 1998 and affiliated to ESUT. On 14th January,2000 the Ebonyi State edict No.7 of 1999 upgrading the University College to an autonomous University was signed into Law by His Excellency Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu, the first Executive Governor of Ebonyi State. Professor Fidelis Ogah was appointed the first vice-chancellor of the University. The Ebonyi state University is made up of 3 campus ( annex). It was located at the city Abakaliki which is the South Eastern part of Nigeria. It has three campuses with small population. Ishieke campus has about three faculties, Arts and Humanity, Education, Management and Social Sciences which the population is 12252 both male and female students (office of the director of academics planning EBSU). It has administrative block buildings, lecture room block/ theatre and laboratory block-staff quarters and other minor buildings are scattered in some portions of the land of the campus.
The school has no student’s hostel of its own as at the moment due to the very other important project development plan of the University. However, most of her students rented out building and rooms outside the school compound, which serve them as hostels.
The University comprises of various people from different cultural and religious backgrounds. The university is co-educational, it enables both male and female students to engage together in academic, vocational and extra-curricula activities in developing their personalities to the higher levels of human experience in an atmosphere where young men and women can grow individually, through the dignity of labour, sacrifice and self determination.Since its inception, the University has grown from strength to strength.