Knowledge and Attitudes Concerning Sexual and Reproductive Health among In-School Adolescents in the Gambia
Adolescents and youth are individuals
who are in the phase of life that separates early childhood and adulthood, a period
that requires special attention and protection. This study was carried out to assess the baseline knowledge and attitudes
concerning sexual and reproductive health among in-school adolescents in Greater
Banjul area in Region 1, The Gambia. This cross-sectional study was carried out
among 1505 in-school adolescents selected from secondary schools by systematic sampling
technique. Data was collected using a structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire. A total of 1388 valid questionnaire (92.2%
response rate) was analyzed. The age of the adolescent ranged from 13 – 19 years,
with a mean age of 16.5 ± 1.9 years. A higher proportion of them, 816 (58.8%), were
females, concerning HIV prevention, a higher proportion mentioned correct use of
condoms during sexual intercourse, 930 (67.0%), and having only one sexual partner,
781 (56.2%). Only 511 (36.8%) mentioned abstinence. The predominant contraceptive
methods mentioned by adolescents were condom 1192 (85.9%), followed by oral contraceptive
pills 735 (53.0%) and injectable 586 (42.2%). Almost half, 680 (49.0%), agreed that
young people who carry contraceptives with them are promiscuous or unfaithful, while
only 393 (28.3%) disagreed with this. About the same proportion agreed, 582 (41.9%)
and disagreed with 557 (40.1%) that using a contraceptive is a sign of not trusting
one’s partner. The knowledge and
attitudes concerning sexual and reproductive health were poor among in-school adolescents
in studied. There is a need for an all-inclusive, comprehensive sexuality education
to be implemented in all secondary schools in The Gambia.
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