AMHSR

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Emergency Contraception among Female Undergraduate Health Science Students in Kenya

Author(s): Gitonga Isaiah

Background: Emergency contraception is a safe, simple, effective, and convenient form of family planning method that women can use to minimize the chances of unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. Aims: This study sought to determine the levels of knowledge, attitudes and practices of emergency contraception pills among female undergraduate health sciences students. Subjects and Methods: This study utilized a cross-sectional descriptive design. Stratified random sampling was done and data collected by use of self-administered researcher-designed questionnaires (n=203) capturing knowledge, attitudes and practices of emergency pills use. Results: This study found that almost one-third (27.1%) of the participants were unaware of the existence of the pill. Of those who were aware, slightly less than half (41.4%) held the belief that use of the pill was unsafe and that it was not something that they would freely discuss with their parents. Some students (1.5%) believed that emergency contraception pills reduce transmission of HIV/AIDS. Over 80% of the students did not know the number of times that pills can be used safely in a year. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that correct knowledge on emergency contraception pills among the students was poor. Measures should be undertaken to educate the youth on reproductive health, especially emergency contraception as a way of curbing cases of unintended pregnancies in colleges. Health sciences students constitute an early pool of health care providers and are often consulted on reproductive issues by the general public in low resource settings. Timely provision of correct information on emergency contraceptive pills will ensure that others in the society also have the right information.


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