Original Research

Adolescent mothers’ utilisation of reproductive health services in the Gauteng province of the republic of South Africa

VJ Ehlers, T Maja, E Sellers, M Gololo
Curationis | Vol 23, No 3 | a695 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v23i3.695 | © 2000 VJ Ehlers, T Maja, E Sellers, M Gololo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2000 | Published: 27 September 2000

About the author(s)

VJ Ehlers, Department of advanced nursing sciences University of South Africa, South Africa
T Maja, Department of nursing technikon Northern Gauteng, South Africa
E Sellers, George hospital, South Africa
M Gololo, Greater Johannesburg metropolitan council, South Africa

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A financial grant was received from the World Health Organization (WHO) during 1998 to establish whether adolescent mothers (aged 19 or younger at the birth of their babies) utilized contraceptive, emergency contraceptive and termination of pregnancy (TOP) services in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). This report refers to data obtained from 111 questionnaires completed by dolescent mothers between January 2000 and May 2000 in the Gauteng Province; 61 in the Pretoria and 50 in the Garankuwa areas, and excluding the 12 completed questionnaires used foi pretesting the research instrument.
The biographic data of the 111 adolescent mothers indicated that the minority were married, employed or earned sufficient income to care for themselves and their babies. However, the minority used contraceptives prior to conception, none used emergency contraceptives or termination of pregnancy (TOP) services. The minority attended ante-natal clinics five or more times during their pregnancies, and a negligible number indicated that they had ever been treated for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These findings indicate that the 111 adolescent mothers in Gauteng who participated in this survey did not make optimum use of the available reproductive health (RH) care services. Education about sex, pregnancy and contraceptives should commence at the age of 10, but no later than the age of 12 as the majority of respondents did not have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about their futures.
The accessibility of contraceptive, emergency contraceptive and TOP services for adolescents should be investigated in specific areas and attempts made to enhance such accessi- bility. This might necessitate offering these services over weeker| ds or during evenings when school girls could attend without fear of meeting their mothers, aunts or teachers at these clinics.


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