Knowledge and opinions on reproductive health issues among primary school pupils in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated the knowledge and opinions of adolescent primary school pupils on reproductive health issues in Moshi Urban and Moshi Rural districts. The focus was on knowledge of maturity, fertility, sexually transmitted diseases and sources of information on reproductive health issues. A multidimensional model of data collection addressing agencies of information generation, parameters of reproductive health issues, clients, media, environment and efficacy directed the study at the theoretical level. Four primary schools were selected two from each district, and in each district, one small and one large school. About 391 respondents were involved. Questionnaires, tests, interviews were validated before use. In addition, quantitative and qualitative data collection was used on site. Analysis included percentages and chi-square tests. Comparison were made between gender, grades, place of residence, pupils and teachers. The findings revealed that two thirds of the teachers knew the age of girls sexual maturity and modern contraceptive methods. More than eighty percent of teachers indicated human immunodeficiency disease (HIV) gonorrhea, syphilis and chancroid while sexty percent of pupils mentioned gonorrhea as STD. half of the pupils knew when it was safe to carry out an abortion while the same proportion was ignorant of any contraceptive method. Seventy five percent of teachers and ninety percent of pupils were ignorant of the fertility period. There were misconceptions on modes of HIV transmission whereby twenty five percent of pupils and thirteen percent of the pupils acquire reproductive health knowledge through books and magazines. Generally teachers, girls, standard seven and urban pupils were more knowledgeable of most reproductive health issues. It is therefore recommended that, a firm policy and program on reproductive health guidance and counseling services be introduced in primary schools. In addition, the efficacy and modes of distribution of the services need to be further investigated.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF LB1588.T3K57)
Tanzania, Health and hygiene, School children, Health education (elementary)
Kisanga, S.H (1997). Knowledge and opinions on reproductive health issues among primary school pupils in Tanzania. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam