FACTORS INFLUENCING AND DANGERS OF CRIMINAL ABORTION AMONG TEENAGERS IN A SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN EKITI STATE, NIGERIA
Ife Charles Claudius Ajewole, Ayodeji Akinwande Fasoro* and Richard Dele Agbana
Background: Abortion poses a huge threat and burden to women’s reproductive health most especially in countries where it is illegal. About 210 million pregnancies occur every year all over the world, 80 million are unwanted, 46 million end in induced abortion and nearly 20 million are estimated to be unsafe resulting in the death of 80,000 women annually. An estimated 1.2 million induced abortion take place annually in Nigeria. Materials and methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was employed to assess the knowledge of teenagers in a senior secondary school on what they perceive to be the dangers of and factors responsible for criminal abortion. Results: Majority of the students were females (73.3%), within ages 16-19 years (51.3%), Christians (49.3%) and Yorubas (56.7%). Poverty (72.7%), early start of sexual activities (56.7%) and ignorance (50.7%) were the most implicated factors for criminal abortion. Most of the students see death (88.7%), infection (80%) and perforated uterus (79.3%) as dangers of criminal abortion. Conclusion: Abortion still remains an issue of public health concern in Nigeria. It is clear that there is high prevalence of unsafe abortions with its attendant morbidity and mortality in Nigeria We recommend that besides teenagers’ knowledge of the dangers of abortion, other components of sex education such as abstinence and contraception should be introduced into secondary schools’ education curriculum. Community sensitization and availability of contraception will also go a long way in reducing the possibility of girls and women engaging in criminal abortion.
Keywords: Criminal abortion, Perception, Health hazards, Cross-sectional, Teenagers.
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