BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Research has shown that students who have just joined university find themselves in a state of excitement and a significant increase in sexual exposures. These excitements of high number of sexual partners are linked with social transitions such as changing from being high school students, and at times moving from a restricted family to where they have freedom; also moving from rural to more liberal urban environment. The large proportions of university students are found among the young people who are on the upper end of their teenage period. It is assumed that young people between the ages of 15-24 years including university students constitute 20% of the total population of the world. Several studies have shown sexual behaviours and the attended risks among youths and in particular university students. Low level of contraceptive usage among young people in Sub-Saharan Africa has been the main reason for high prevalence rate of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion. Moreover, estimates of unsafe abortions in Africa show that more than one-quarter were experienced by15-19 year olds. Most of our teenage male and female have their first sexual intercourse before the age of 18. Therefore, effective and innovative programs that can provide youth with sound sexual health information and services are needed. Proliferation of the use of various types of contraceptives particularly among the young female has been observed, even when the effectiveness, safety, side effects, contraindications and availability of these methods vary. With such an array of methods to influence the choice of the medical experts, special precaution should be taken with respect to patient suitability and adverse effects of each method. It is therefore the responsibility of health professionals to ascertain that each person who obtains a family planning method has sufficient information on the proposed method and that this person is competent to make a choice. The choice of contraceptive method is often individualized based on a patient’s age, profile or need. Thus an opportunity should be given to individuals or couples to make their choices. Effective contraception reduces the burden of reproductive ill health by decreasing mortality and morbidity associated with unwanted pregnancies. It also reduces fertility, which, in turn, can play a crucial role in poverty reduction. Various governments have put in place different mechanism of ensuring availability of reproductive health facilities, including contraceptives and associated services in Nigeria, the government policy on family planning is to ensure the availability of contraceptives services in its health centres for men and women who are ready for and need of them. In Nigeria, the government was aware that teenagers are sexually active and therefore launched the policy to encourage the provision of family planning information and services freely to people in need including teenagers. Similarly, at the Universities in Nigeria there is university project targeting students providing reproductive health services such as contraceptives. The success of any family planning programme activities or awareness is determined by the level of the use of contraceptive methods. In Nigeria, several factors have been found to influence contraceptive use among young women in villages of Nigeria. Strong beliefs (religious barriers), male domineering attitude over females (patriarchy), and limited exposure to modern contraceptive to be obtained through higher education has been limiting the use of contraceptives among young women in Nigeria. The current research is aimed to understand if the female university students who are more exposed to modern contraceptives accept and make use of the contraceptive. Against this background, there is need to explore contraceptive knowledge and use among tertiary-level students in Nigeria, in order to contribute to a greater understanding of the extent of their vulnerability to unprotected sex and its attendant problems.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Globally the level of contraceptive use is considered low compared to contraceptive awareness. Nigeria’s Population Reference Bureau (PRB) reported in 2011 that only about 29% of Nigerian youth use contraceptives; in spite of reported high rates of sexual activities and increased awareness of contraceptive technologies (Akani, et al, 2008). These studies reveal that youths are generally aware of the existence of contraceptive methods and the benefits accruing from using contraceptives. However, this awareness is not reflected in the actual utilization of these methods, thereby leading to increase in the incidence of STIs and unsafe abortions resulting from unwanted pregnancies. Similar findings indicating low contraceptive use were found among students in Nigerian tertiary institutions, thus indicating that students are vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies and the contraction of STIs. Studies suggest that the high degree of social freedom in tertiary institutions in Nigeria affords students the opportunity to engage in sexual activities; in some cases this could also be triggered by the desire to acquire material gains (Nwokocha 2007; Wusu, 2010). The risk related to the high rates of sexual activity and low contraceptive usage among Nigerian students (especially unwanted pregnancy and STIs) are among the most serious health risks that young people face and can endanger not only their physical health but also their economic, emotional and social well-being (Ebuehi, Ekanem and Ebuehi, 2015). Although there are studies on contraception among students in Nigeria, the issue of contraceptive use among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria have received little or no attention over time; as shown in the literature review.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the use of contraceptive drugs among female students. Other general objectives of the study are:
- To examine the level of use and knowledge of contraceptives among female students of Delta state University.
- To examine factors responsible for female students contraceptive use and practice.
- To examine the effect of contraceptive use and practice among female university students.
- To examine the problems encountered with the use of contraceptive among female students.
- To examine the relationship between contraceptive use and students academic performance.
- To proffer useful solutions towards the use of contraceptives.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the level of use and knowledge of contraceptives among female students of Delta state University?
- What are the factors responsible for female student’s contraceptive use and practice?
- What are the effects of contraceptive use and practice among female university students?
- What are the problems encountered with the use of contraceptive among female students?
- What is the relationship between contraceptive use and student’s academic performance?
- What are the useful solutions towards the use of contraceptives?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no effect of contraceptive use and practice among female university students.
H1: There is a significant effect of contraceptive use and practice among female university students.
- There is no significant relationship between contraceptive use and student’s academic performance.
- There is a significant relationship between contraceptive use and student’s academic performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The result of this research work will be useful to the government. Because it will make the government to discover the consequences of the use of contraceptive drugs on the educational performance of the students and the role it needs to play to curb this menace in our society. The knowledge that will be obtained from this study is intended to create public awareness on the importance and proper use of contraceptive method. However, feasible policy strategies that are going to enhance or address youth sexual and reproductive health are likely to emanate from the study and will aid the young people and society at large, on the use of effective family planning methods. Thus, the youth becomes more of the importance of contraceptive, the sources of contraceptive methods and the use of contraception. A study of this nature will provoke policy debates aimed at awakening the government and its agencies on the importance of adequate inclusion of sexual and reproductive education on primary, secondary and tertiary institutions’ curricula. The youths themselves will benefit from this research work as it will enable them to identify the problems associated with premarital sexual relationships with particular reference to their academic performance. It will also benefit parents, because it will point out the areas through which the parents have been influencing student’s relationships among their peer groups and the quota they need to contribute to resolving the problem. The teachers will also gain from this research work as they are the tutors of the Nigerian youths. It will also show their own roles in curbing premarital sex among the youths they are teaching through guidance and counselling services.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the use of contraceptive drugs among female students of Delta state University, Abraka.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Adolescents: In this study, adolescents refer to a distinct group in terms of their health needs and opportunities to reach them with preventive health programs. According to World Health Organization, adolescents are defined as those aged between 10 and 19 years of age.
Family planning: It can be conceptualized as to steps people take to have children by choice and not by chance. In this work it refers to steps taken by individual and couples to decide on attain their desired children and the spacing between births which could be achieved through contraception or treatment of involvement infertility.
Contraception: It refers to artificial methods/techniques for prevent pregnancy through temporal or permanent means. Pernoll (1994) stated that contraception is practiced for many reasons, such as pregnancy planning, limiting the number of children, avoiding medical risks of pregnancy and controlling of world population.
Contraceptive Methods: It refers to artificial device use for prevention of individual from both pregnancy and HIV/STIs.
Abortion: This is the spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy (TOP) before the foetus has attained viability i.e. becoming capable of independent extra uterine life.
Unsafe Sex: This is the practice of sexual activities that carry a higher risk of negative consequences. In this work, it is activities that involve exchange or contact with semen, vaginal fluids, penile or vaginal discharges, or bloods at high risk.
Youth: According to United Nations, youth is composed of individuals aged between 15 and 24 years. In this study, youth is conceptualized as those persons who normally would be completing their secondary schools or would either be in tertiary institutions such as university.
Youth Friendly Centers: This is a place designed to encourage youth to seek sexual and reproductive health services and to enable them to use contraception to avoid unintended pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS. It is also referred to where public transportation is available and close to places where young people gather, such as schools, markets, and community centers. It is designed to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, youthful, informal, and culturally appropriate for all the youth using the services.
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