Factors Influencing Access and Utilization of Reproductive Health Services among Undergraduates in Selected Tertiary Institutions in Ogun State, Nigeria
ADEFALU, Ganiyat Adebisi (Mrs); AYODELE, Kolawole Olanrewaju PhD

Young people's reproductive health services have been largely neglected in the past, leaving them vulnerable to reproductive health problems like Sexual Transmitted Infection (STI), unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion and other harmful practices. Although much research has been done on reproductive health services (RHS), but the persistence of reproductive health problems among undergraduates in Nigerian university makes this study pertinent. A survey research design was adopted for this study while multistage sampling method was used to select the school, faculties, and participants of this study. A self-designed questionnaire was used for data collection, which was pilot tested through test-re-test and yielded a reliability coefficient (index) of .860. Four research questions and five hypotheses were formulated and tested. Analysis of data was done using descriptive statistics and regression analysis fixed at the .05 significant levels. A total of 388 participants were included in the study, 39.2% and 60.8% were males and females respectively while their ages ranged from 16-27 years with a mean age of 20.9. The findings from this study showed that majority of the respondents 283 (72.9%) were aware of RHS; 57.7% had moderate knowledge of available RHS for the youths; 63.4% had never visited a health facility in their locality for reproductive health service(s); and 87.8% of the participants had low level of utilization of RHS. It was revealed further that personal (M = 3.149, SD = 1.505), socio-economic (M= 3.981, SD = .975), and institutional factors (M = 3.654, SD = 1.220) were potent enough in influencing utilization of RHS. Knowledge of RHS was not significantly different among male and female (p = .437); while a significant gender difference was found in the undergraduates' utilization of reproductive health services (p = .03). Utilization of reproductive health services was not significantly influenced by undergraduates' sexual behaviour (p = .693); 21% of the total variance in the access to reproductive health services was accounted for by sexual behaviour, gender, and knowledge, while the most potent factor was knowledge (p = .00); and 7% of the total variance in the utilization of reproductive health services was accounted for by sexual behaviour, gender, and knowledge; while the most potent factor was gender p = .03). The study concluded that factors influencing access and utilization of RHS were personal, socio-economic, and institutional in nature. Based on the outcome of this study, it was recommended that active sensitization of the youth in schools, through school health programs not just at the University level but from primary school be promoted. Nurses should provide a youth friendly RHS, that is functional, effective and affordable at every point in time.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v7n2a6