Perceptions of university students towards the use of modern contraceptives: a case of Makerere University
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The issue of use of modern contraceptives has received considerable critical attention to prevent unwanted pregnancy, abortion and minimize the risk of STI transmission is particularly important. However, the prevalence of contraceptives usage among University students is found to be low in some developing countries with no exception of Uganda. However, there is hardly any study on perceptions of modern contraceptive use among university students. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of university students towards the use of modern contraceptives. A descriptive design was used for the study and a total of 171 students were randomly selected for the study from nine different colleges of Makerere University. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to understand views and perceptions of students towards the use of modern contraceptive. The results analysed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SSPS) statistics 23 for analysis showed that Makerere University students have knowledge about modern contraceptives and most had been trained about modern contraceptives mostly by health workers. In addition, the students had positive perceptions towards modern contraceptives much as most agreed that those modern contraceptives are not comfortable and they affect the quality and enjoyment of sex. The perception had no relationship with the students’ knowledge as even those who had never heard about modern contraceptives had a positive perception towards the use of modern contraceptives. The use of modern contraceptives among university students was high and the factors for the use of modern contraceptives included fear of unwanted pregnancies, not to contract STDs, fear of HIV/AIDs and lastly, because they were easy to use, affordable and comfortable. Some of the strategies to address issues around the use of modern contraceptives are providing free contraceptives, bringing modern contraceptive services providers nearer to students, conducting awareness campaigns, teaching students about modern contraceptive among others. The study recommended that the Government of Uganda under its ministry should with no exception of UBOS to conduct research to assess the possible effects of the modern contraceptives and introduce modern contraceptives with less effect as most of the respondents hope to stop using modern contraceptives in the nearby future due to their serious side effects. Further research is also needed to establish the factors that influence perception towards modern contraceptives.