Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of adolescents in relation to STIs, pregnancy, contraceptive utilization and substance abuse in the Mhlakulo region, Eastern Cape

A Bana, VG Bhat, X Godlwana, S Libazi, Y Maholwana, N Marafungana, K Mona, AM Mbonisweni, N Mbulawa, J Mofuka, NA Mohlajoa, NN Nondula (+2 others)
2010 South African Family Practice  
SA Fam Pract 2010;52(2):154-158 Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS are a major problem in South Africa. This, coupled with a high incidence of teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, is of grave concern, especially its impact among the young (15-24 years) and in economically poor, rural populations. This study aimed to assess the youths' knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding STIs, teenage pregnancy, contraception and substance abuse. Methodology: This is
more » ... thodology: This is an interview-based, descriptive study. The sample design employed a stratified sample (using schools as strata) of young people aged 15 to 24 years in three schools in the Mhlakulo region, Eastern Cape province. From each school, a sample of learners from grades 10 to 12 was selected randomly. Questionnaires covering relevant parameters were used to interview the learners, after which the data were assimilated and analysed. Results: A total of 150 learners were surveyed (86 females and 64 males). In total, 56% of them knew about STIs. About 88% of the participants learned about STIs from health care workers/nurses/doctors/clinics, the media, educators, the school and friends. Most preferred to communicate to friends (38.67%) and siblings (28%); only 15% communicated with parents. Among the sexually active, 54% reported the use of condoms; of these only 62% used them consistently. Of the participants, 7.33% had more than five sexual partners. Of the young women, 12.8% reported to have fallen pregnant with one-sixth of them wanting to become pregnant. Thirty per cent of those pregnant had to quit school, but did return subsequently. Common contraceptives used were condoms (54%) and pills (58%). Twenty-two per cent of the youths admitted to the use of recreational drugs at some time; most of these were related to alcohol (19.33%). A small fraction (1.33%) used dagga (cannabis). Conclusion: There is lack of knowledge of STIs and their prevention and condom and contraceptive use among young people of this community. Sexual promiscuity and teenage pregnancy in the group is a cause for concern. Substance abuse is another important problem that requires urgent attention.. Peer reviewed. a Bana A, MBChB student b Bhat VG, MD a Godlwana X, MBChB student a Libazi S, MBChB student a Maholwana Y, MBChB student a Marafungana N, MBChB student a Mona K, MBChB student a Mbonisweni AM, MBChB student a Mbulawa N, MBChB student a Mofuka J, MBChB student a Mohlajoa NA, MBChB student a Nondula NN, MBChB student a Qubekile Y, MBChB student a Ramnaran B, MBChB student
doi:10.1080/20786204.2010.10873959 fatcat:d75tg7fhjvgk5fcdxaytfxfeo4