ECHOES IN THE WIND: SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CHALLENGES OF IN-SCHOOL ADOLESCENTS LIVING WITH DISBILITIES IN A SOUTH WEST STATE IN NIGERIA
Abstract Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the sexual and reproductive health challenges of in-school adolescents living with disabilities. Methods: A quantitative study was carried out among 141 adolescents living with physical disabilities in five schools for the handicapped in Osun State, South West, Nigeria. Results: The mean age of in-school adolescents was 16 years. The male-to-female ratio was approximately 1:1 and the majority of the adolescents were living with hearing impairment while others had visual, intellectual, and mobility impairments. About half of the adolescents had poor knowledge about contraceptive use while some were unaware about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reproductive health services. Coitarche was experienced at an average age of 18 years; few had engaged in sexual intercourse and the commonest source of sexuality information was from teachers. The SRH challenges identified among adolescents were multiple sexual partners, unwanted pregnancies, and abortions. Furthermore, some females were raped, with various outcomes. Conclusions: Findings from this study will provide key insights for stakeholders, both at local and international levels, to identify SRH challenges of in-school adolescents living with disabilities. Keywords: Sexual and Reproductive Health; Adolescents; Disabilities; Sexually Transmitted Infections; School.