Sexual and Reproductive Health Knowledge, Behaviour and Education Needs of In-School Adolescents in Northern Nigeria

Adeokun LA, Ricketts OL, Ajuwon AJ, Ladipo OA


Adolescence is marked by progression from the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics to sexual and reproductive maturity. Curiosity about bodily changes is heightened. However, adolescents’ perceived sexuality education needs have been poorly documented. A survey of 989 adolescents from 24 North-Eastern Nigerian secondary schools yielded information on socio-demographic characteristics, reproductive health knowledge, sexual activities and sexuality education needs. Of the interviewed respondents, 72% of females had experienced menstruation. Overall, 9% were sexually active, 3.1% knew when ovulation occurs, 47% knew pregnancy could result from first coitus and 56% knew of contraception. 84% opined that adolescents should be given sexuality education but only 48.3% had received any.  Sexuality education should be provided for in-school adolescents through their preferred and reliable sources of information (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[4]:37-49).



Connaissance de la santé sexuelle et de la reproduction, les besoins éducatifs et comportementaux des adolescents encore à l’école au sud du Nigéria. L’adolescence est marquée par une progression à partir de la parution des caractéristiques sexuelles secondaires jusqu’à la maturité sexuelle et de la reproduction.  La curiosité à l’égard des modifications physiologiques augmente. Une enquête sur 989 adolescents venant de 24 écoles secondaires du nord-est du Nigeria a donné des renseignements sur les caractéristiques socio-démographiques, la connaissance de la santé de la reproduction, les activités sexuelles et les besoins de l’éducation sexuelle.  Parmi les enquêtés, 72% des femelles ont subi la menstruation. Dans l’ensemble, 9% étaient sexuellement actives, 3.1% savaient quand l’ovulation se produit, 47% savaient qu’il est possible de devenir enceinte dès le premier coϊt et 56% connaissaient la contraception.  84% étaient d’opinion que les adolescents doivent avoir l’éducation sexuelle, mais seuls 48,3% l’ont jamais eu.  Il faut mettre l’éducation sexuelle sur le programme scolaire des adolescents encore à l’école à travers leurs sources sérieuses d’information (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13[4]: 3749).




KEYWORDS: In-School Adolescence; Reproductive health; Education needs; Northern Nigeria

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