Byline: Oluwatosin. Ilori, Phillip. Awodutire, Oluwatosin. Ilori
Introduction: Adolescents require a range of scientifically accurate sexual and reproductive health information and services. Adolescent reproductive health services (ARHSs) are an integral part of adolescent health and it is pertinent that adolescents know about them to be able to benefit from them. This study was to assess the awareness and utilization of adolescents in Oyo State about ARHSs. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study carried out among in-school adolescents where 225 respondents each were selected for the rural and urban groups using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, and analysis was performed with SPSS version 22. Results: A total of 225 rural and 225 urban respondents participated in this study, with a mean age of 14.3 [+ or -] 1.93 and 13.9 [+ or -] 2.03 for rural and urban respondents, respectively. Few of the respondents (59, 13.1%) were aware of the existence of ARHS, of which, 34 (57.6%) were of the urban respondents and 25 (42.4%) were from the rural respondents. Only 36 (7.8%) of respondents had ever utilized ARHS with 22 (61.1%) from urban communities. The major reason why almost half of 207 (49.6%) of the adolescents had never been to a facility rendering ARHS before was that they did not know where to go, which was higher among the rural respondents. Conclusions: Awareness of ARHSs was lower among rural respondents, leading to poor utilization of such service. It is, therefore, recommended that more youth-friendly environments should be made available and accessible to adolescents, especially in rural areas (114, 53.3%).
Adolescents constitute about 20% of the world population. An estimate done in a study puts the adolescent's population globally at 1.2 billion with 85% of them living in the developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood and this begins with the onset of puberty. Their age ranges between 10 and 19 years. During this period, the adolescent develops the secondary sexual features with further progression to reproductive and sexual maturity. Physical development is not the only form of development during adolescence; they also undergo emotional, psychological, and intellectual development.
The risks of sexual abuse and other forms of sexual violence are high during adolescence. As a result of this, adolescents have special health needs and they require special reproductive health (RH) attention. This includes RH information; sexual abuse counseling, sexuality and reproduction; harmful reproductive health practices; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS; maternal health; sexually transmitted infections (STIs); gender issues; cervical/breast cancer and family planning services.
Despite the large population of adolescents, their health needs have neither been well researched nor adequately addressed; their RH needs, especially are not well understood and are underestimated. Research shows that adolescents indulge in premarital sex more frequently at an early age,, the incidence of pregnancies among them is rising, most of them face the risk of induced abortions under unsafe conditions and contracting STIs including...