Sexual and reproductive health education among girls and women has several reproductive health benefits, including improved contraceptive knowledge, contraception use at first intercourse, increased chance of contraceptive use in a lifetime, and effective usage of contraceptives. It is however not clear whether women/girls in urban slums who have had sexual and reproductive health education would likely utilize contraception. This study sets out to test the hypothesis that Accra slum women who have had sex education have higher chances of ever using contraception.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among reproductive aged women in two slums (i.e. Agbogbloshie and Old Fadama) in Accra, Ghana. A sample size of 691, made up of respondents who provided responses to the question on ever used contraception, sex education as well as those with complete information on all the other variables of interest was considered in this study. Binary logistic regression models were fitted to examine association between sexual and reproductive health education and ever use of contraception. Crude odds ratios (cOR) and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at p-value less than 0.05 were used to assess the strength of the association between the outcome and independent variables.
More than half (56.73%) of the women have never received sexual and reproductive health education. Most of the respondents (77.28%) had ever used contraceptives. Women who had no form of sexual and reproductive health education had lower odds of ever using contraception (OR = 0.641, 95% CI 0.443, 0.928) and this persisted after controlling for the effect of demographic factors (AOR = 0.652, 95% CI 0.436, 0.975] compared to those who have ever received any form of sex education. Non-married women as well as women who were exposed to media (newspapers/radio/television) were also more likely to use contraceptives in slums in Accra, Ghana.
The study revealed a relatively low prevalence of sex education among women in urban slums in Accra. However, sex education was found to increase the odds of ever use of contraception. These findings call for intensified sexual and reproductive health education among reproductive aged girls and women in urban slums in Accra using existing informal social networks and local media platforms.