Evaluation of a reproductive health awareness program for adolescence in urban Tanzania--a quasi-experimental pre-test post-test research

Reprod Health. 2011 Jun 27:8:21. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-8-21.

Abstract

Background: Sub-Saharan Africa is among the countries where 10% of girls become mothers by the age of 16 years old. The United Republic of Tanzania located in Sub-Saharan Africa is one country where teenage pregnancy is a problem facing adolescent girls. Adolescent pregnancy has been identified as one of the reasons for girls dropping out from school. This study's purpose was to evaluate a reproductive health awareness program for the improvement of reproductive health for adolescents in urban Tanzania.

Methods: A quasi-experimental pre-test and post-test research design was conducted to evaluate adolescents' knowledge, attitude, and behavior about reproductive health before and after the program. Data were collected from students aged 11 to 16, at Ilala Municipal, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. An anonymous 23-item questionnaire provided the data. The program was conducted using a picture drama, reproductive health materials and group discussion.

Results: In total, 313 questionnaires were distributed and 305 (97.4%) were useable for the final analysis. The mean age for girls was 12.5 years and 13.2 years for boys. A large minority of both girls (26.8%) and boys (41.4%) had experienced sex and among the girls who had experienced sex, 51.2% reported that it was by force. The girls' mean score in the knowledge pre-test was 5.9, and 6.8 in post-test, which increased significantly (t=7.9, p=0.000). The mean behavior pre-test score was 25.8 and post-test was 26.6, which showed a significant increase (t=3.0, p=0.003). The boys' mean score in the knowledge pre-test was 6.4 and 7.0 for the post-test, which increased significantly (t=4.5, p=0.000). The mean behavior pre-test score was 25.6 and 26.4 in post-test, which showed a significant increase (t=2.4, p=0.019). However, the pre-test and post-test attitude scores showed no statistically significant difference for either girls or boys.

Conclusions: Teenagers have sexual experiences including sexual violence. Both of these phenomena are prevalent among school-going adolescents. The reproductive health program improved the students' knowledge and behavior about sexuality and decision-making after the program for both girls and boys. However, their attitudes about reproductive health were not likely to change based on the educational intervention as designed for this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reproductive Health / education*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Tanzania
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data