Religious leaders' perceptions and support of reproductive health of young people in Anambra State, Nigeria

Niger Postgrad Med J. 2006 Jun;13(2):111-6.


Objectives: This article assesses religious leaders' perceptions of young people's reproductive health in Anambra State.

Patients and methods: Through self-administered semi-structured questionnaires, and in depth interviews, religious leaders perceptions of young peoples reproductive health in Anambra State Nigeria was elicited from two hundred and fifty religious leaders selected by multistage random sampling.

Results: Over 85% of the religious leaders thought that young people are sexually active, and are involved in high risk behaviour for unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and STD and HIV/AIDS. Eighty five per cent felt that there is need for sexuality education in schools, and that sexuality education will reduce unintended pregnancy, abortion, STDS and HIV/AIDS among young people. However 52.2% felt that sexuality education in school would increase promiscuity. Some religious leaders did not support teaching of contraception and safe abortion in schools.

Conclusion: Religious leaders in Anambra State have a high awareness of young people's reproductive health problem, and are in support of sexuality education in schools. They differ however in what should be the content of the curriculum. There is need to harmonise and agree on programme contents to minimise sending conflicting and confusing messages to young people.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Reproductive Medicine*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Education
  • Surveys and Questionnaires