Reproductive health service utilization and associated factors among adolescents (15-19 years old) in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia

Type Journal Article - BMC health services research
Title Reproductive health service utilization and associated factors among adolescents (15-19 years old) in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia
Volume 13
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 1-10
The utilization of reproductive health services is an important component in preventing adolescents
from different sexual and reproductive health problems. It plays a vital role in safeguarding youth in Sub-Saharan
African countries including Ethiopia, which accounts for a high proportion of the region

s new HIV infections as
well as maternal and infant mortality ratios. Due to this, assessing adolescent reproductive health service utilization
and associated factors has its own contribution in achieving the national Millennium Development Goals (MDG),
especially goals 4 to 6.
A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from April 5

19, 2012, in 4 randomly selected
administrative areas of Gondar town. A total of 1290 adolescents aged 15

19 were interviewed using a pre-tested
and structured questionnaire. Data were entered in to the EPI INFO version 3.5.3 statistical software and analyzed
using an adapted SPSS version 20 software package. Logistic regression was done to identify possible factors
associated with family planning (FP), and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) service utilization.
Out of the total participants, 79.5% and 72.2% utilized FP and VCT services, respectively. In addition, among
sexually experienced adolescents, 68.1% and 88.4% utilized contraceptive methods and VCT service during their first
sexual encounter, respectively. Educational status, discussion with family/relatives, peer groups, sexual partners and
teachers were significantly associated with FP service utilization. Also, adolescents who had a romantic sexual
relationship, and those whose last sexual relationship was long-term, were about 6.5 times (Adjusted Odds Ratio
[AOR] = 6.5, 95% CI: 1.23, 34.59), and about 3 times (AOR = 3, 95% CI: 1.02, 8.24) more likely to utilize FP services
than adolescents who had no romantic relationship or long-term sexual relationship, respectively. In addition, the
variables significantly associated with VCT service utilization were: participants who had secondary education and
above, schooling attendance, co- residence with both parents, parental communication, discussion of services with
peer groups, health workers, and perception of a risk of HIV/AIDS.
The majority of the adolescents were utilizing FP and VCT service in Northwest Ethiopia. But among
the sexually experienced adolescents, utilization of FP at first sexual intercourse and VCT service were found to be
low. Educational status, schooling attendance, discussion of services, type of sexual relationship and perception of
risk were important factors affecting the utilization of FP and VCT services. Building life skill, facilitating parent to
child communication, establishing and strengthening of youth centers and school reproductive health clubs are
important steps to improve adolescents

reproductive health (RH) service utilization.

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