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Assessment of the awareness levels on sexual transmission diseases among secondary school students in Northern Nigeria

Silifat Oyewusi*, Abdullahi Sabo and Abigail Uchenna Emeloye

Background: Sexually Transmitted diseases (STDs) are societal problems that could result in tremendous health, social and economic consequences. Due to certain socio cultural beliefs, certain regions of Nigeria could be poorly aware of STDs and their consequences especially in the adolescents. Hence the need for assessment and health education on STDs in the adolescent population.

Objectives: This study aims to assess the awareness levels of sexual transmission diseases among adolescents in selected public secondary schools in Sokoto State, Nigeria.

Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional and questionnaire-based survey on 346 randomly selected adolescent students aged 10-19 years from secondary schools. Using a pre-tested structured questionnaire, data on participants' Sociodemographic variables and responses related to their knowledge and awareness about STDs were collected. The responses were scored and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0.

Results: Of all the participants, 306 (76.0%) were females, and most of the students, 220 (63.6%) indicated their peers as the major sources of information about STDs, whereas the least was via mass media, 30 (8.7%). Overall, 65.1% of the students do not discuss with their parents on aadolescent rreproductive health, 80.3% disagreed that rreproductive health facility exists in our community/neighbouring community, and all (100.0%) agree that secondary school students need inclusion in sex eeducation in their curriculum. Also, 70.0% do not believe in having a friend from the opposite sex. Over 65% do not know the major etiological agents of STDs.

Conclusion: Based on these findings, the level of knowledge on STDs among adolescents was low. The secondary school students held a negative view of the existence of reproductive health care facilities in schools and communities. All the respondents submitted that lack of knowledge is one of the factors that influence adolescents’ attitudes and practices

Keywords: Sexually transmitted diseases; Contraceptive; Preventive knowledge; Sexual and reproductive Health; Adolescent health; Nigeria

Published Date: 2022-10-13; Received Date: 2022-08-22