Knowledge, information and need for sexual health education in a rural area of Mandya district
Keywords:Sexual health education, Sexually transmitted diseases (STD/HIV) Pregnancy preventive measures
Background: Objective: To assess the student’s knowledge, need & information on Sexual Health Education (SHE), Sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy preventive measures and to explore their on content, source and need for implementation of sexual health education.
Methods: A descriptive and explorative questionnaire based study done in rural Pre-university colleges of BG Nagara, Mandya, Karnataka. Adolescents were included and categorised based on their age and gender. Questions were broadly categorized under pubertal changes, STD’s, pregnancy preventive measures and menstruation and analysis was done.
Results: A total of 430 students were enrolled for the study, 59.1% boys and girls constituted 40.9%. The right age for SHE was 16 years (37%), followed by 18 years (32%). Need for SHE was observed in 72.3%. Preferred source for SHE was doctor’s (35.3%). The mean knowledge about pubertal changes was 65.4 ± 23.5 (P = 0.000), about STD’s was 61.39 (P = 0.00), pregnancy preventive measures was 52.69 ± 27.89 (P = 0.00) and menstruation among girls was 68.75 ± 39.8. Signs of physical maturity were correctly known in 69%. AIDS/HIV was heard and known to be a STD by 69.3%. Most common contraceptive known was oral pill (68.8%) and most common source being internet (40.5%). Information to be included under SHE by the students was mainly regardinggeneral changes at puberty (74.7%), HIV and other STD’s (63%).
Conclusions: Rural adolescent students have lesser minimum knowledge than prescribed in understanding reproductive health issues. Most of them expressed an essential need for SHE and to avail this knowledge of SHE from their doctors and teachers. Hence it is recommended to generate greater awareness to adopt safe behavioural practices for prevention.
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