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Study to Improve the Health-seeking Behaviour of In-school Adolescents

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Recently, the Women's Health and Action Research Center, an NGO based in Nigeria, conducted a study aimed at understanding the pattern of health seeking behavior for sexually transmitted diseases among in-schools adolescents in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Following the baseline study, they conducted a community-based intervention aimed at improving adolescents health seeking behavior for STDs.
Communication Strategies: 

Objectives of the project:

  1. To determine the pattern of sexual activity among in-school adolescents in Benin City
  2. To explore adolescents knowledge and perceptions of various STDs
  3. To determine the proportion of adolescents who had experienced symptoms of STDs
  4. To understand what adolescents do to prevent and treat STD symptoms
  5. To identify the factors that influence the use of services for STDs treatment and prevention by adolescents
  6. To explore ways to improve adolescents use of appropriate methods for the prevention and treatment of STDs



Study Components:

The study consisted of a baseline survey and an intervention component.


Baseline survey:

  • Focus group discussions with in-school adolescents
  • In-depth interviews with health providers - doctors, pharmacists, patent medicine dealers and traditional healers
  • Questionnaire survey of adolescents in 12 secondary schools in Benin City


Intervention:

  • Provision of reproductive health information to adolescents in 4 schools
  • Creation of health clubs in the schools
  • Training of peer educators who provided peer counseling on STDs during and after school hours
  • Training of health providers (private doctors, patent medicine dealers, and pharmacists) to improve their treatment and prevention methods for STDs in adolescents
Development Issues: 

Youth, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Family Planning.

Key Points: 

Available evidence suggests that there is a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among Nigerian adolescents. Despite the high rate of STDs among Nigerian adolescents, it has been recognized that many adolescents either do not receive treatment or receive inadequate treatment for various STDs. It is conceivable that the lack of proper treatment of STDs is one of the factors that maintain the high rate of infection among adolescents, and contributes to high HIV transmission in the country.

Partner Text: 

Funds for this project were received from the MacArthur and Rockefeller Foundations. The Ford Foundation provides core funding to the Women's Health and Action Research Center.

Source: 

"Summary Report of Research Findings: An intervention study to improve the health-seeking behavior of in-school adolescents in Midwest Nigeria" as posted on the Gender -AIDS forum - gender-aids@hivnet.ch

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