This study aimed to explore the understanding of reproductive health knowledge and the prevalence of unsafe induced abortion among adolescent females in selected communities within Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria. To achieve this goal, five research inquiries were formulated to guide the investigation. The data was acquired from primary and secondary sources. Primary data collection involved administering a well-structured questionnaire with two sections to respondents in secondary schools within the specified communities. The gathered data were analyzed using tables and simple percentages to address the research inquiries. All data were processed using SPSS software. The findings indicated that adolescent girls possessed a certain level of awareness about reproductive health matters, including family planning services. Additionally, a connection was observed between the adolescents’ knowledge of reproductive health and the occurrence of unsafe induced abortions. Moreover, a link existed between the girls’ awareness of family planning services and their utilization of these services, and further, their knowledge of family planning correlated with instances of unsafe induced abortions. The study concluded with recommendations emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making for adolescents, as a way to significantly reduce unsafe induced abortions.
- Background of the Study
Over the past two decades, discussions surrounding adolescent sexual and reproductive health have gained significant prominence in global reproductive health discourse. The prevalence of adolescent sexual activity, often in environments with limited reproductive health resources, has elevated the significance of this topic both socially and medically (Alubo, 2001; Onifade, 1999; Sai, 1995). Adolescents, considered an at-risk group, face unique challenges and opportunities in a rapidly evolving world, particularly in countries like Nigeria with substantial socio-economic disparities (Onifade, 1999; Lear, 1997). In low-income countries, including Nigeria, reproductive health issues such as unintended pregnancies, maternal mortality, and sexually transmitted infections disproportionately affect young individuals (Onifade, 1999; Lear, 1997). The Population Reference Bureau (2011) indicates that nearly one-third of Nigeria’s population falls within the 10 to 24 age range.
According to an Advocates for Youths report by Sampson Melodi, adolescents play an integral role in a country’s social, political, and economic development. However, sexual and reproductive health challenges hinder Nigeria’s progress in this regard. Lack of sexual health information and services leaves young people susceptible to sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies (Sampson, Advocates for Youths, 2000). While some restrict information to deter sexual behavior, access to accurate information is crucial for protecting youths from reproductive and sexual health risks. Reproductive health encompasses a range of services, information, and counsel needed for safe and healthy sexual expression, impacting overall well-being from childhood to adulthood (Kotwal, Gupta, and Gupta, 2008).
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Unplanned pregnancies among adolescents have reached alarming levels worldwide. Lack of reproductive health knowledge contributes to unintended pregnancies and unsafe induced abortions, particularly among adolescent girls in Nigeria. Limited access to care, transportation, and societal barriers further exacerbate the problem. This study seeks to investigate the correlation between reproductive health knowledge and unsafe induced abortions among adolescent girls in disadvantaged communities in Nigeria.
- Objectives of the study
The main objectives of this study are as follows:
- Examine the general reproductive health knowledge among adolescent girls.
- Assess their awareness of family planning services.
- Explore the link between adolescent girls’ reproductive health knowledge and unsafe induced abortions.
- Investigate the connection between their awareness of family planning services and service utilization.
- Examine the correlation between their knowledge of family planning services and unsafe induced abortions.
- Research Questions
The study is guided by the following research questions:
- What is the level of general reproductive health knowledge among adolescent girls?
- How aware are adolescent girls of the availability of family planning services?
- Is there a relationship between adolescent girls’ reproductive health knowledge and unsafe induced abortions?
- Does awareness of family planning services influence their utilization?
- Is there a link between knowledge of family planning services and the occurrence of unsafe induced abortions?
- Justification of the Study
Despite extensive research on adolescent reproductive health, there’s limited exploration of reproductive health knowledge and unsafe induced abortion among adolescent girls in disadvantaged communities. This study fills this gap and contributes to improving public health intervention strategies and policies targeted at enhancing the sexual and reproductive health of adolescent girls.
- Scope of the Study
This study focuses on exploring reproductive health knowledge and the prevalence of unsafe induced abortion among adolescent females in selected communities within Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria.
- Limitation of the Study
The study acknowledges time constraints as a limitation, affecting the depth of research. Additionally, limitations in access to information due to distance and related costs were encountered during data collection.