Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-137

Reproductive health awareness among adolescent girls of a government school in an urban slum of Pune City

Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Puja Dudeja
Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411  40, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.202101

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Introduction: Reproductive health of adolescent girls is crucial in determining the health of future generations. For ensuring informed decisions by adolescents regarding their sexuality and reproductive health, National AIDS Control Organisation has introduced life skills education in school curriculum. However, there exist many roadblocks in implementation from theory to practice. Hence, the present study was conducted to assess the reproductive health awareness and most preferred source of information. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study among girls of classes VI–XII of a Government High School in an urban slum of Maharashtra. Two hundred and fifty girls participated; 39 questionnaires were incomplete, hence 211 responses were analyzed. All girls were educated about reproductive health and life skills issues after the study. Results: Mean age of the participant girls was 14.9 ± 1.75 years. The level of awareness improved significantly with increase in class of respondent (P < 0.05); however, no significant association was seen with education of mother or father (P > 0.05). Eighty percent of them were unaware of the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics in both the genders. Less than 30% of the girls were aware of contraceptives. Regarding effects of premarital sex, 57% of the participants were concerned about bringing a bad name to themselves and their family, while reproductive tract infections (9%), HIV/AIDS (29%), were cited as other ill effects. Seventy percent felt comfortable discussing or confiding regarding reproductive health issues with friends rather than parents, teachers, or medical professionals. Conclusion: Knowledge and awareness about reproductive and sexual health issues among adolescent girls was dismal.

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