School based reproductive health education and teenage pregnancy: a case of Mtwara region, Tanzania

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Teenage pregnancy is one of the complex health and development problems facing the world. In Tanzania adolescent pregnancy has been identified as one of the reasons for girls dropping out of school. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of school based reproductive health education programmes on teenage pregnancy. The study adopted a cross-sectional explanatory design and was conducted in Mtwara Region, Tanzania covering four secondary schools. Respondents for the study were randomly selected. Data was collected using a pre-structured questionnaire, focus groups discussions and key informant interviews. A total of 156 individuals participated in the study. Findings from the study show that school based reproductive health education programmes were effective in terms of knowledge creation. Generally, the results show a significant (P≤ 0.001) difference in reproductive health education between intervention and non-interventions schools. In addition, significant differences were also observed between rural and urban non-intervention schools. It is therefore concluded that school based reproductive health education programmes are effective in knowledge creation among adolescent girls. Hence, it is recommended that a comprehensive school based reproductive health education programme (SBRHEP) be instituted in schools as a way of reducing teenage pregnancies and spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STI’s). However, for this to be more effective there is need for a standalone subject that only deals with reproductive health education rather than the status quo where it is offered under the biology subject.


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School based Reproductive health education, Teenage pregnancy


Hawa Dunor and Justin K. Urassa